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January 9 - Morning

"After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." - Genesis 15:1

Abram's Unseen Shield and Reward

Abram had just returned from a victorious battle against four kings of the East. Before Abram returned to the great tree of Mamre in Hebron he stopped by Salem to pay honor to the Lord and give the Priest of God Most High, Melchizedek, a tithe of the plunder gained in the battle. But, when Bera, the cowardly King of Sodom, feigns an appearance of blessing Abram by "allowing" him to keep the plunder, Abram renounces any ties with Sodom and its fateful future when he says:
"I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ " - Genesis 14:22-23

"After this" in Genesis 15:1 refers to the time immediately after Abram had returned home to Hebron. It is at this time that Abram might have began to realize the seriousness of his actions over the past few weeks.
  1. Abram had just engaged four of the great and powerful kings of the ruling Eastern countries and defeated them while taking their plunder. These kings would surely contemplate
    retaliation and return to settle the score with Abram.
  2. Then, after having rescued the property and people of Sodom, Abram renounced any claim to ownership of the plunder, and instead put his fate and his wealth in the hands of "the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth." Abram insults King Bera of Sodom by saying, "I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.' "
In this situation God appears again to Abram to tell him two things:
  1. "Do not be afraid...I am your shield" against the kings from the East and anyone else!
  2. "Do not be afraid...I am your very great reward" that is worth far more than the wealth you left at the feet of Bera, king of Sodom!
The Lord is telling Abram that he did the right thing in going to war, in rescuing the people, and in walking away from the wealth of Sodom. Abram is still living by faith. He is not trying to appease the invading kings. Nor is he trying to gain wealth and advancement in a land God has promised will be given to his descendants in the future.
Zamar (Hb) - Sing Praise (Eng) - zamar is the Hebrew word that means “to make music” or “produce music.” Zamar is used often in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 47:6 zamar is used four times at the beginning and ending of two lines:
" Sing praises (zamar) to God, sing praises (zamar);
sing praises (
zamar) to our King, sing praises (zamar)."

This verb,
zamar, was used to build these words in Hebrew:
zimrah means “melody” and “sing” - zamir means “song” - mizmor” means “melody" and it is a technical musical term used to identify “psalms”
Do I fear people? Do I fear losing the wealth of the world?
I will fear God and trust God to provide opportunities to earn provisions.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

Job 21-22

General Text


Confess sin


Avoid self-righteous attitudes
Church's commitment to Jesus

This is one of the graves of the two architects who were responsible for building the wall around Jerusalem. They failed to include Mount Zion which resulted in their decapitation by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1541 AD.
This tomb is found just inside the Joppa Gate.
Details of the process the Romans used to build their roads. Many of these are still in existence today and in several cases, still functioning.

Someone to Quote

"Had it been published by a voice from heaven, that twelve poor men, taken out of boats and creeks, without any help of learning, should conquer the world to the cross, it might have been thought an illusion against all reason of men; yet we know it was undertaken and accomplished by them." - Stephen Charnock

Something to Ponder

The Council of Chalcedon met in 451 to resolve the church’s understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ. Believers in Alexandria, Egypt were influenced by Greek philosophy and emphasized Christ as the Divine Word (logos) that over shadowed his humanity. Apollinarius even taught that the logos took the place of the human soul of Jesus. The school of thought in Antioch, Syria focused on his humanity being fully human. They were accused of saying Jesus had two natures. From a monastery in Constantinople Eutyches taught that Jesus’ human nature was lost in the Divine like a drop of honey dissolves in the sea. In 451 at the Council of Chalcedon Pope Leo’s proposal was incorporated into the final statement of faith:
Jesus Christ is “acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation...the characteristic property of each nature being preserved, and coming togetherto form one person.”

Here’s a Fact

Bryant Wood examined archaeology evidence from Jericho and found these facts:
1. Jericho was strongly fortified around 1400 BC (Joshua 2:5; 2:7; 2:15; 6:5; 6:20)
2. Jericho was destroyed by a massive fire around 1400 BC. (Joshua 6:24)
3. Something like an earthquake caused the fortification walls to collapse at the time the city was destroyed around 1400 BC. (Joshua 6:20)
4. The large amount of grain stored in the city indicates the destruction occurred in the spring harvest time. (Joshua 2:6; 3:15; 5:10)
5. The siege of Jericho was not an attempt to starve the people out since it happened quickly and there was still stored grain in the city (Joshua 6:15; 6:20)
6. The grain of the city was not plundered by the invading enemy which would have been the normal practice of war. (Joshua 6:17-18)
7. Jericho was not rebuilt and was not occupied for many years after the 1400 destruction. (Joshua 6:26)


"Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding."
- Proverbs 4:1

Coach’s Corner

Knowing and recalling truth and reality will help you stand in righteousness and stand against sin.

Joshua 2:5
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.”
Joshua 2:7
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
Joshua 2:15
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.
Joshua 6:5
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”
Joshua 6:20
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
Joshua 6:24
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house.
Joshua 6:20
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
Joshua 2:6
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
Joshua 3:15
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge,
Joshua 5:10
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.
Joshua 6:15
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
Joshua 6:20
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
Joshua 6:17-18
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.
Joshua 6:26
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son     will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest     will he set up its gates.”
Genesis 11
New International Version (NIV)
The Tower of Babel
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
From Shem to Abram
10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.
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.
14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
Abram’s Family
27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.
28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.
Genesis 17
New International Version (NIV)
The Covenant of Circumcision
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
Job 21-22
New International Version (NIV)
21 Then Job replied:

“Listen carefully to my words;     let this be the consolation you give me.

Bear with me while I speak,     and after I have spoken, mock on.

“Is my complaint directed to a human being?     Why should I not be impatient?

Look at me and be appalled;     clap your hand over your mouth.

When I think about this, I am terrified;     trembling seizes my body.

Why do the wicked live on,     growing old and increasing in power?

They see their children established around them,     their offspring before their eyes.

Their homes are safe and free from fear;     the rod of God is not on them.
Their bulls never fail to breed;     their cows calve and do not miscarry.
They send forth their children as a flock;     their little ones dance about.
They sing to the music of timbrel and lyre;     they make merry to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their years in prosperity     and go down to the grave in peace.
Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!     We have no desire to know your ways.
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?     What would we gain by praying to him?’
But their prosperity is not in their own hands,     so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.
“Yet how often is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out?     How often does calamity come upon them,     the fate God allots in his anger?
How often are they like straw before the wind,     like chaff swept away by a gale?
It is said, ‘God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.’     Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience it!
Let their own eyes see their destruction;     let them drink the cup of the wrath of the Almighty.
For what do they care about the families they leave behind     when their allotted months come to an end?
“Can anyone teach knowledge to God,     since he judges even the highest?
One person dies in full vigor,     completely secure and at ease,
well nourished in body,     bones rich with marrow.
Another dies in bitterness of soul,     never having enjoyed anything good.
Side by side they lie in the dust,     and worms cover them both.
“I know full well what you are thinking,     the schemes by which you would wrong me.
You say, ‘Where now is the house of the great,     the tents where the wicked lived?’
Have you never questioned those who travel?     Have you paid no regard to their accounts—
that the wicked are spared from the day of calamity,     that they are delivered from the day of wrath?
Who denounces their conduct to their face?     Who repays them for what they have done?
They are carried to the grave,     and watch is kept over their tombs.
The soil in the valley is sweet to them;     everyone follows after them,     and a countless throng goes before them.
“So how can you console me with your nonsense?     Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!”
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

“Can a man be of benefit to God?     Can even a wise person benefit him?

What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?     What would he gain if your ways were blameless?

“Is it for your piety that he rebukes you     and brings charges against you?

Is not your wickedness great?     Are not your sins endless?

You demanded security from your relatives for no reason;     you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked.

You gave no water to the weary     and you withheld food from the hungry,

though you were a powerful man, owning land—     an honored man, living on it.

And you sent widows away empty-handed     and broke the strength of the fatherless.
That is why snares are all around you,     why sudden peril terrifies you,
why it is so dark you cannot see,     and why a flood of water covers you.
“Is not God in the heights of heaven?     And see how lofty are the highest stars!
Yet you say, ‘What does God know?     Does he judge through such darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us     as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’
Will you keep to the old path     that the wicked have trod?
They were carried off before their time,     their foundations washed away by a flood.
They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!     What can the Almighty do to us?’
Yet it was he who filled their houses with good things,     so I stand aloof from the plans of the wicked.
The righteous see their ruin and rejoice;     the innocent mock them, saying,
‘Surely our foes are destroyed,     and fire devours their wealth.’
“Submit to God and be at peace with him;     in this way prosperity will come to you.
Accept instruction from his mouth     and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored:     If you remove wickedness far from your tent
and assign your nuggets to the dust,     your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,
then the Almighty will be your gold,     the choicest silver for you.
Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty     and will lift up your face to God.
You will pray to him, and he will hear you,     and you will fulfill your vows.
What you decide on will be done,     and light will shine on your ways.
When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’     then he will save the downcast.
He will deliver even one who is not innocent,     who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

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