January 4, 2016

Genesis 9-11
God blessed Noah and his sons...Every living creature will fall under your spell and be afraid of you.  You’re responsible for them...You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!...

Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you,

I am putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you..... 

The sons of Noah who came out of the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. 

Noah, a farmer, was the first to plant a vineyard.  He drank from the wine, got drunk and passed out naked in his tent.  Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and told his two brothers who were outside the tent. Shem and Japheth took a cloak, held it between them from their shoulders, walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness, keeping their faces turned away so they did not see their father’s exposed body.....When Noah woke up with his hangover, he learned what his youngest son had done.  He said, “Curse be Canaan...Blessed be God, the God of Shem, but Canaan shall be his slave. God prosper Japheth, living spaciously in the tents of Shem.

This is the family tree of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. After the flood, they themselves had sons. The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, Tiras....The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, Canaan....Shem, the older brother of Japheth, also had sons. Shem was ancestor to all the children of Eber....The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.... (See Chapter 10)

At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language...They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well....Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”

God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.  God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next—they’ll stop at nothing! Come, we’ll go down and garble their speech so they won’t understand each other.” Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world.

This is the story of Shem. 
- When Shem was 100 years old, he had Arphaxad. It was two years after the flood. 
When Arphaxad was thirty-five years old, he had Shelah. 
When Shelah was thirty years old, he had Eber. 
When Eber was thirty-four years old, he had Peleg. 
When Peleg was thirty years old, he had Reu. 
When Reu was thirty-two years old, he had Serug. 
When Serug was thirty years old, he had Nahor. 
When Nahor was twenty-nine years old, he had Terah. 
When Terah was seventy years old, he had Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

This is the story of Terah. Terah had Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Haran had Lot. Haran died before his father, Terah...
Abram and Nahor each got married. Abram’s wife was Sarai;... Sarai was barren; she had no children. 
Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran. 

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and Sarai his daughter-in-law... and set out with them from Ur of the Chaldees for the land of Canaan. But when they got as far as Haran, they settled down there.

John 3
There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader, among the Jews.  Late one night, he visited Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God.  No one could do all of the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”  

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right.  Take it from me.  Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to -- to God’s kingdom...Unless a person submits to this original creation--the wind-hovering over the water creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into new life- it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom.  When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch.  But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch- the Spirit- and becomes a living spirit...

You’re respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know the basics...This is how much God loved  the world.  He gave His Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life...His Son came to help, to put the world right again...

This is a crisis we’re in:  God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness.  They went for darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God...But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there...John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism...

John’s disciples came to John and said...”Jesus is competing with us.  He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”  John answered, “It’s not possible for a person to succeed--I’m talking about eternal success---without heaven’s help...the bridegroom’s friend, his best man--that’s me--in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy...That’s why my cup is running over.  This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.  The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God...The Father loves the Son extravagantly.  He turned everything over to him so he could give it away-- a lavish distribution of gifts.  That is why whoever accepts and trust the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever.”