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January 6, (Day 6) - Our Unity is in Christ

Today’s passages contains an overwhelming wealth of incredible information and biblical principles for us to read, hear, learn, assimilate, and apply into the daily practices of our lives. In Genesis 9-11, we read about God’s covenant with Noah after the flood. “God blessed Noah and his sons” (9:1). God calls for “fruitfulness and the increase in numbers” of human beings, and He indicates that, now, “the fear and dread of” mankind will fall upon the animals (verse 2), all of which are “given into our hands.” Moreover, the food supply now includes meat. God informs Noah that life is in the blood, and the “lifeblood” requires an accounting. We need to understand what this actually means, because – in our day and age – our culture has reduced life to protoplasm. Human life is precious, sacred, and above all - inviolable. Life comes to us based on God’s authority, not ours. Contrary to popular appearances, we do not have authority over life – not even our own. The implications of this truth are enormous. God’s creation of human life in His image and by His breath cannot be destroyed. Although it’s true that humans have the ability to end their own or another human life (i.e., we can eliminate the body), nevertheless, we do not have the authority to do so. A person within a body so killed is not and cannot be destroyed by another creature. Should someone exercise or attempt to exercise his own authority to separate another human being from his or her body (i.e., to commit murder), God will hold that killer strictly accountable – not only for the murder – but also for usurping the inseparable authority of God. Only God (and God alone) possesses legitimate authority over life and death. From the standpoint of truth and reality, human life is inviolable - it cannot be removed by any human being. Abel’s blood - therefore, his life - still cries up from the ground (cf., Gen 4:10-11; Heb 12:24).

Also, in Genesis 9:18-23, we see Noah’s unintentional sin of drunkenness and the different reactions to it by his three sons. Shem and Japheth “covered their father’s nakedness,” – the result of that sin. Though not completely, here we see Ham’s apparent mockery of his father’s condition. Love does not mock others. Love seeks to protect and to cover the beloved – not to expose the faults or the weaknesses of the one loved. Sin always requires a “covering” – an atonement; Shem and Japheth’s response was actually an act of love toward Noah, who later woke from his stupor and cursed Ham for his scorn. In the curse, we see a subsequent, three-fold, future division of all humanity. In chapter 10, we see God’s division of humanity in the table of nations, and we see the construction of cities. Chapter 11 reveals to us the foolishness of the Tower of Babel and its resultant confusion of languages. Initially designed with the purpose for creating unity, adding the sin of pride to its construction resulted in nothing more than confusion, division, and failure. We see similar nonsense in our world today as we observe confused people all around us. Thank God for His restoration of unity to us in the establishment of the church on the Day of Pentecost.

In Matthew 5:21-42, we see amazing humility - the opposite of Babel's pride - in the behaviors required of us by the content of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. Jesus allows us absolutely no room for any pride in our lives. Impressive also is the truth that Jesus came into this world to fulfill history, prophecy, and the Old Testament law.

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