(Update: the podcasts aren't working with iphones since they are based on flash player. Go to the web browser of any computer and it should work fine. My apologies for any inconvenience.)
Genesis 5-7:24, Matthew 3:7-4:11, Psalm 3:1-8, Proverbs 1:10-19
To read along:
"And then the waters came."
Mankind was wicked. Why is it always being like that? I wonder often. But apart from God, we often drift.
In the reading today, there was one righteous man, which must have really mattered to God. It was so important his name was mentioned in the Bible; he was singled out. It was so important, he was chosen.
His name was Noah.
He had a simple response to God. He did exactly what God said.
The New Testament reading, coincidentally, is very similar.
As this story develops, one who had been waited for through all the patriarchs and prophets, the heroes and villians, the ups and downs of Israel of old- the Messiah- comes.
His name is Jesus.
Today, both stories start to unfold.
They hinge on one idea: doing everything exactly as God tells us.
Both men are baptized, one by a flood, the other by a prophet clothed in camel's hair who eats locusts. Both represent cleansing from sin and purifying to God.
And both did as God said. The second, as we shall see later in the story, holds the key to everything.
It's amazing how God's plan all fits together.
And interestingly, after Jesus was baptized, he was tempted. That's the way it often is with faith. Once we declare our righteousness before God in Jesus, once we are cleansed by him, the world tries to jump in and tempt us.
That's just the way it is. Right now anyway. Jesus wasn't surprised by this. And he didn't give in.
David found himself facing enemies, but he stood up to it without fear "of ten thousand...who surround him."
Noah was the only one.
And in Proverbs, today, the focus comes to you. What will you do, when the world comes around, will you listen?
I think Noah has your answer.
"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" (Matthew 1:23- Day 1)