Genesis 9-10, Matthew 9, Ezra 9, Acts 9

Genesis 9:7

God gave the same instruction, be fruitful and multiply, to Noah that He gave to Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28).  Do you think He just wanted them to have lots of children to populate the earth?  Or, is it His desire for them to have children populate the earth who glorify Him?  Since He had just destroyed all mankind with the exception of those on the ark, it seems He definitely had something else in mind. 

Loving Father, may Your children rear children whose purpose is to know You, love You, enjoy You and glorify You forever.  Please Father would You bless godly parents with insight into each of their children to see them as You do.  Strengthen them to speak the truth in love into their children's lives.

Matthew 9:1-8

As I read this event in Jesus' ministry, I am amazed at the conclusion the people reach.  Jesus, in great detail, has claimed to be God by both His words and actions.  Yet the crowd who saw and heard Him, even though they glorified God, missed Jesus' point.  It is not that God gave such authority to men, but to only this One man, His chosen man, who has authority both to forgive sin and cure physical illness. 

King Jesus, may I always see You for who You are.  May I not be distracted by my own opinions and ideas.

Ezra 9:1-15

This event in the nation of Israel convicts me.  Ezra was appalled to learn some of the people, including the priests and Levites, had not kept themselves separate, but had married into foreign families with detestable practices.  Even though Ezra had not participated in this sin, he included himself as guilty in his prayer of repentance for the nation.  He admitted that the nation was taken into captivity because of such "evil deeds", but God had given them an opportunity for a new start.  Instead, they had returned to the way of their fathers. 

There were about 50,000 men who returned from Babylon to Israel.  Of this number, a few over 100 had taken foreign wives, with about 25% of those being leaders in the temple.  It would be real easy to say that seems like a small number but, Ezra and those who "trembled at the words of God", knew it affected the entire nation. 

How have I "separated" myself from the world?  How have I instructed followers of Christ to do the same?  James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world".  "Do not love the world or the things of the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15.  This is a good explanation of how Christians are to view their life in the world.