Who was Jared?

Who was Jared?

Luke 3 v 37 “the son of Jared”

There are 2 Enoch’s. The one fathered by Cain and the one fathered by Jared. Jared’s name means ‘descent’ and one of the reasons why his parents could have named him this is because since Adam and the fall there had been a continuous decline from the standards and values of Eden.

Other interesting thoughts are this:

There was a city named Enoch which Cain built as a protection for himself and family in line with the curse on his life. Jared would have known that city when he named his son.

Adam died within Jared’s lifetime. When the first man who walked with God in Eden (His Presence) dies then perhaps everyone is affected.

He no doubt searched for his son who God took away but as we know never found him.

He is the man who lived the second longest in Bible history.

Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday in the Churches across the world. We also commenced the descent into the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross knowing that this coming Sunday we will rise in victorious resurrection light!

Philippians 2 speaks of Christ:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

We will soon celebrate the ascension of Christ however because since the time Adam and Jared to the present day man has descended from His Presence, Christ came, God came down. He descended to be man amongst us to die for us. To lead us into a glorious ascension ourselves.

As we move into this Holy Week let us remember and be grateful that though we live in a descending sinful world, Jesus, descended for us.

Lent day 40: Who is Enoch?

Lent day 40: Who is Enoch?

 

Luke 3: 37 “the son of Enoch”

 

Methuselah’s father had a name meaning ‘Dedicated.’

 

The following verses are where Enoch is mentioned:

Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

 

Jude 14-15 “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

 

Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

 

From these verses we see:

He walked with God

He pleased God

He did not die

He was searched for but was not found.

He prophesied.

 

He completed what Adam failed to do, he walked with God. He did what Noah had done and what Abraham would do. Before we rush on, slow that down.

Enoch was I am sure walking by faith, something we hear a lot of today. But he was demonstrating an even more beautiful life, he was walking with God, an indicator of intimacy that God still waits from us today. It was this intimacy that pleased God. Even more so because life was tough for someone walking with God. Jude has his prophecy to the ungodly and we also know from the life Lamech that the environment Enoch lived in was one of sinfulness, arrogance and selfishness.

At a time when values were totally broken down and everyone did their own thing, when families were divided and the order that had been created was in chaos, there was a man who walked with God.

God ‘took’ the man who walked with Him. This was his reward. And whether we die on this earth or we are taken when He comes again, it is the reward for all who walk with Him.

 

 

Lent day 39: Who is Methuselah?

Lent day 39: Who is Methuselah?

Luke 3 v 37 “the son of Methuselah”

He is of course the oldest man that ever lived. His name means ‘man of the sword’, a name indicating death was coming. Ironically it didn’t come for him. He lived 969 years.

Many have understood that his father, Enoch, gave this name to his son when prophesying of the coming death to the earth (the Flood) and that Methuselah died in the year of Noah’s flood, helping to build the ark. That prophecy is quoted in Jude 14-15.

This week I attended a Church service and into the Church strolled quite quickly a lady who was apparently 97 years of age. She was walking faster than those 20 years younger than her. Whatever pills she was taking seemed to definitely be helping her!

When you get old will you still be building an ark of salvation for others? Even if you never get to see your dreams fulfilled will you still build so that others will see it?

Will you still run into the Church building as quickly as someone 20 years younger? Will you still have passion for Church services?

This week I spoke with an 80 year old man, a believer, who told me a verse in the Bible spoke to him and though he had stopped going to the Sunday evening service, the verse challenged him and for the last several weeks he had started going again. He goes in the morning and goes to the evening service. All because of a verse. I admired him.

In your old age will you still let the Bible change you and what you do with your life?

Isaiah 46: 4 Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Lent day 38: Who is Lamech?

Lent day 38: who is Lamech?

Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Lamech”

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that: “The old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”

In Genesis 4:23-24 we read an event confirming the reason why the law of Moses stated “an eye for an eye” for it was to make sure that punishment was not harsher than it deserved to be.

Lamech, the father of Noahhas a name meaning ‘strong man’ or ’wild man’. Not only was Lamech the Bible’s first recorded polygamist (v19) he seemed to be even worse than his ancestor Cain. It was not because he took more than one wife. But it was because he presumed on God’s grace after he took revenge.

We don’t know what happened but it would appear that the punishment did not fit the crime. He truly believed that those who tried to take revenge on him for his revenge will receive the vengeance of God 77 times over. A huge presumption on the mercy of God.

Interestingly when Jesus teaches Peter to forgive he says that he should forgive not 7 times but 70 times 7 (Matthew 18:22).

People with a deep desire of justice. Those who carry a sense of right and wrong are prone to revenge and retaliation.

Has there ever been a time in our life that we wanted to take revenge? Of course! How we retaliate is dependent on where we are in God. However, all retaliation is wrong, whether that be in words or actions.

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3: 9

Lamech’s son, Tubal-Cain, invented what was the first primitive sword (4:21), weapons of war are seen for the first time. Lamech came home not only boasting to his wives of how he took revenge on some person who wounded him but worse than that. Lamech believed that with his son’s swords in his hands though Cain would be avenged 7-fold, for him it would be 77-fold. The sword would now bring about greater retaliation from any attack of the enemy.

Lamech was now self-confident and self-sufficient because of the weapon he had in his hand. The sword meant he did not have to trust God even if it was still a thought of doing so.

So how strong are you and is it in you to be ruthless with people?

What is in your hands can be a blessing or a curse.

We have all seen how position and power can inflict a retaliation that is way beyond what is equal to any mistake or pain inflicted on you. We have seen that in the regime leaders around the world, government leaders and sadly we have seen it with Church leaders.

The abuse of power. Justified in the eyes of those who hold the sword in their hands but not in the sight of God.

Let’s be different today. Where there is hurt let us bless. Where offence comes let us take every barrier down. Where there is war let us bring peace. Who do you struggle with today? Bless them. Show kindness. Demonstrate the cross. Die for them. Do not pick up the sword no matter what they have done.

Lent day 37: Who is Noah?

Lent day 37: Who is Noah?

Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Noah”

The name means ‘rest’ and his father named him so in Genesis 5: 27 prophesying that, “He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.”

Change can happen so quickly.

Genesis 4: 26 “At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.”

To

Genesis 6: 3, 5 “I can’t do this anymore, this has become too much.” What He actually said was, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

Sometimes we have to start again with ourselves. The path we were taking, the way we were living has become something we never intended.

You can start again … because God did!

How?

From the following verses in Genesis 6: 9-22 we see what Noah (REST) did.

V9 Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

V14 “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

V17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

V18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

V19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

V20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

V21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

V22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

  • Begin with integrity, be real, honest, truthful, v9
  • Begin with connecting to God, v9
  • Let things die, v17
  • Build something new even something you have never seen, v14
  • Plan for a new beginning, v 19
  • Hold on to the promises of God, v18
  • Be positive, choose life, v19
  • Receive what God sends to you, v20
  • Eat well, v21
  • Follow all the instructions, v22

 

The ark was the symbol of the Saviour. Today we can hear the same words God said to Noah in 7:1 “Go into the ark”

Today GO into the safety of the relationship with the Saviour.

Let God shut you into His presence and the experience of Jesus.

When the floods come you will rise above the storm.

Everything around you may die, but you will live.

Everything may pass away but you will remain.

The landscape may change forever, but you will be constant.

And what will happen?

God will remember you just as “God remembered Noah” 8:1

After 150 days of the waters flooding the whole earth.

After 150 days of no change to outside circumstances.

150 days of trust.

150 days of silence from God.

150 days of not being in control.

We all go through such seasons of the soul.

BUT GOD will remember you and act for you. He will send a wind to push back that which is trying to take over your life. And the 2 words that will become all important you will carry for the rest of your life ….

BUT GOD! And because of those 2 words we find REST, we are Noah people!

Lent day 36: Who is Shem?

Lent day 36: Who is Shem?

Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Shem”

Genesis 9: 20-23 “Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.”

Shem’s name means ‘name’ but can also mean ‘esteemed’. Certainly what NAME is known for is the esteem of honouring his father with his brother Japheth.

Many have speculated on what happened inside Noah’s tent alluding to some sexual activity. What we are told is that Ham went into his father’s tent, saw he was naked and not only didn’t do anything but came out and spoke about what he had discovered.

My friend and colleague, James Glass tweeted at the start of the year regarding the story of Shem: “Sometimes you have to walk backwards to help others move forwards.”

It is a great line!

Walking backwards:

It is not condoning. Shem and his brother could have said ‘let’s leave our father till he wakes up from his drunkenness, he is inside his own tent, what happens there stays there.’

It is not making it worse. Shem and his brother could have replicated Ham’s approach by telling other family members. Deciding ‘not to tell’ of someone else’s downfall is to be esteemed above all traits when it is coupled with helping that individual make a recovery.

It is protecting. Their father was vulnerable being unprotected. They could not sleep themselves knowing anything may happen in that state.

It is making it right. Helping to make it right is better than telling someone they are wrong. Jesus didn’t come to tell the world they were wrong. He came to make it right.

It is honouring. Everyone can honour the honourable. Honouring the brokenness of humanity is something else. This honour is not about what the individual does but who they are.

Let us be Shem (and Japheth!) today and walk backwards to someone.

This is what it means to esteem.

Lent day 35: Who is Arphaxad?

Lent day 35: Who is Arphaxad?

Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Arphaxad”

His name means ‘one that releases’.

He was born 2 years after the flood and life was difficult as they began to re-populate the earth and expand into territories, building and planting, creating infrastructure. How was this going to happen? How would law and order prevail? How would people still follow their Creator?

The ‘one that releases’ may have been a call of prayer to hand the pressure of that over to God who can carry what man could not.

Today there are burdens you need to release that are too heavy for you to carry. He will sustain you and you will be moved so long as you release what is not yours to carry. Psalm 55:22

Today, you may see others with the weight of sin holding them down, either their sin or they are a victim of someone else’s sin. Release their burdens. Isaiah 58:6

God does want you to carry things in your life, but these burdens are light and easy. He wants to give you rest so release the heaviness that is around you today. Say NO, disappoint perhaps, alter your schedule, change the programme. There are no miracles without God so the question is: has God asked you to do this? Matthew 11:28-30

If God has commanded your work then He has your hand and He will help you to accomplish it even if it looks impossible and too difficult for you. Commanded work is not necessarily easy work but it is accompanied work. Isaiah 41:13

As I grow older and my hair gets greyer and less I realise I need to know the carrying God and delivering Saviour more than ever before. In my youth my immature energy and ignorant passion sustained me but now I know it is He who sustains. In my youth He sustained me when I didn’t know but now He expects more wisdom from me. Isaiah 46:4.

I will release the pressure today and I will do it in prayer with a prayer that I have prayed all my life, “Help me!” Psalm 34:17

The challenge to the release of these burdens is the fear that things won’t get done or I will disappoint. In short, the fear of man continues to be a snare. So with eyes lifted high I choose to hear the ancient words, “Fear not, for I am with you”. Isaiah 41:10

Join me as I choose to be Arphaxad today and release from my life what should not be there!

Lent day 34: Who is Canain?

Lent day 34: Who is Canain?

Luke 3 v 36 “the son of Canain”

Luke records: “the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem”

But Genesis 11: 10-13 records: “Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters. 12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah.13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.”

So who was Shelah’s father? Was it Canain or Arphaxad?

The name means ‘one who laments’.

  • If ‘the son of’ is merely ‘a descendent of’ then Canain is the father and Arphaxad the grandfather (still possible at 35yrs if he and Canain had fathered at 17 years of age).
  • There was a levirate marriage occurring and Arphaxad took Shelah as his own.
  • The Greek for Canain and Kenan (v37) are the same and a Gentile copyist of the New Testament made an error in copying. Canain is Kenan repeated in the wrong place.

 

Maybe Canain really existed and he is lamenting still today because no one knows who he was!

Are you grieving today? Mourning the loss of a loved one or a misunderstanding or even an error that has occurred that cannot now be fixed?

Sometimes that is all we have left. The book of Lamentations is a collection of poetry after the destruction of Jerusalem. It shows that even now in 2019 we can lament over the situation around us and who we have become.

We can be drained emotionally:  2 v 11 “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.”

 

We can struggle for words to say: 2 v 13 “What can I say for you? With what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?”

 

We can have regret, knowing things could have and should have been different: 2 v 14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.”

 

We can be ashamed of our situation: 2 v 15-17 “All who pass your way clap their hands at you; they scoff and shake their heads at Daughter Jerusalem: “Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?” 16 All your enemies open their mouths wide against you; they scoff and gnash their teeth and say, “We have swallowed her up.
This is the day we have waited for; we have lived to see it.” 17 The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.”

 

We can be crying constantly, 2 v 18-19 “The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. You walls of Daughter Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. 19 Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.”

 

This is the condition. It can get as bad as it can get. Sometimes our only prayer is:

Look, O Lord, and consider …v20

And He will look and He will consider and whether there is error or whether you really existed and are incredibly overlooked or misunderstood, Canain is in the lineage of Jesus. He takes the errors and the inconclusive bodies who lament over their situation and works salvation through them!

Lent day 33: Who is Shelah?

Lent day 33: Who is Shelah?

Luke 3 v 35 “the son of Shelah”

This name means ‘missile’ and also ‘prayer’.

2 Corinthians 10: 4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds”

Ephesians 6: 12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

I led 2 Churches over 21 years with Prayer and Action being crucial to growth and influence. The 5 principles I held to can be summarised in this way:

  1. Prayer positions the Church so that it can be commissioned.
  2. Prayer changes the Church in order to bring change.
  3. Prayer enlightens the Church to know how to go into the world.
  4. Prayer refreshes the Church as it does the work of God.
  5. Prayer empowers the Church to defeat the power of the enemy.

SHELAH is the prayer of war.

  1. M. Bounds (1835-1913) the great Church leader and author who wrote 9 out of 11 books on prayer said this regarding the Weapon of Prayer:

“In many places an alarming state of things has come to pass, in that the many who are enrolled in our churches are not praying men and women. Many of those occupying prominent positions in church life are not people who pray. It is greatly to be feared that much of the work of the Church is being done by those who are perfect strangers to the closet. Small wonder that the work does not succeed. While it may be true that many in the Church say prayers, it is equally true that their praying is of the stereotyped order. Their prayers may be charged with sentiment, but they are tame, timid, and without fire or force. This fact is similar to the crisis which would be created were a country to have to admit in the face of an invading foe that it cannot fight and have no knowledge of the weapons whereby war is to be waged. Prayer is the genius and mainspring of life. We pray as we live; we live as we pray. Life will never be finer than the quality of the closet. The mercury of life will rise only by the warmth of the closet. Persistent non-praying eventually will depress life below zero.”

The battle is no greater demonstrated than the battle for our children. They are growing in a generation that is attacking the very value system of Christianity. We must pray for our children!

In the 16th century a mystic Jewish Rabbi, Isaiah ben Abraham Horowitz, wrote a special prayer for the welfare of children, it is still used today and is known as the Shelah’s Prayer. Here is an extract:

You are Hashem (meaning NAME), our G-d, before You created the world and You are Hashem, our G-d, after Your created the world… You wrote in Your Torah: Be fruitful and multiply, and You wrote in Your Torah: And you shall teach them your children, and the meaning of both of them is one and the same.
You did not create the world in vain but to be inhabited, and for Your honour You created, You formed and You also made so that we, our children and the children of all Your people Israel will know Your Name and learn Your Torah.

Therefore, Hashem, King of kings of kings, I will come to You and will beg You, my eyes raised to You, to have compassion and hear my prayer and bestow on me sons and daughters that they shall too shall be fruitful and multiply, they, their children and their children’s children, until the end of all generations, so that they and I, and we all should engage in the study of Your holy Torah
to learn and teach, to guard, to do, and to fulfil all the words of study of Torah with love.

May they be masters of Torah, masters of the written Law, masters of Mishna, masters of Talmud, masters of kabbala, masters of mitzvot, masters of hessed, masters of noble character,
and may they serve You with love and true fear, not with false fear. Grant each one of them all that he needs with honour, give them health, honour and strength, give them stature, beauty, grace and kindness. May there be love, brotherhood and peace between them.

It is a beautiful prayer and one that parents, grandparents, godparents, the whole family and Church should be thinking about. We need to increase our prayer for our children in this war for their mind and heart that they may grow to become men and women of God.

Focus on the family have prayers published that can be used. Prayers such as:

Help our children to stand for what’s right instead of what’s easy but wrong.

Give them enough success to be certain of Your love for them, enough favour to be aware of Your kindness, but enough humility to know that they can do nothing worthwhile without You.

Show them Your holiness, and give them the power to live in a way that honours You.

We can all be Shelah people today as we go to Church and see the children who are there to worship a God who has special attention for them.

Lent day 32: Who is Eber?

Lent day 32: Who is Eber?

Luke 3 v 35 “the son of Eber”

His name means “crossed over” or “traveller”. He was the father of Peleg (“divided”) but outlived his son by about 191 years.

Crossed Over outlived Divided.

The name is also derived from the same root as the name ‘Hebrew’.

Jewish tradition tells the story that Eber refused to help with the building of the Tower of Babel and so his language was not confused. He and his family alone retained the original human language, the language of Adam, a language named after Eber (Heber).

 

How true is that? Well, its tradition so who knows! But a lovely story it is.

One thing I have discovered is that those who are prepared to travel and cross over are ones who will sustain themselves in the work of God as opposed to those who specialise in division or making a name for themselves as there is a limit to self-exaltation before God steps in.

 

Will you cross over today?

 

Everyone else may be focusing on self-promotion and becoming big. But will you turn away and cross over, will you go beyond, will you travel into a changed season?

 

Will you face the fears and the psychological barriers that have been placed before you and even your previous generations and cross over? Joshua 3: 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”

 

Will you be ready in the day of battle that is here now? Can you be counted on to stand your ground and cross over? Joshua 4:12 “The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.”

 

The Lord will make a way for you but will you be brave enough to go for the change that is needed? Will you lead others to cross over too? Can you influence a town, a city, a region, a nation? Can you raise soldiers to advance like a troop and scale a wall and cross over into new territory? Joshua 4:13 “About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.”

 

The Church in my nation needs leaders who will not remain in one place to promote themselves. The Church needs leaders who belong to a movement that move, that are not afraid to cross over, to make the changes, to make the Church relevant, to walk the ancient paths and see restoration of people to be people of God!

We need Eber people. Will you be an Eber today? Will you cross over? If you do you will outlive what is the norm. You will leave a legacy that will last long after you have gone.