Genesis 7, Matthew 7, Ezra 7, Acts 7

DateVersionReading Plan
@January 7, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 7

Genesis 7:2 (ESV) 2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate

I never noticed before that there was to be seven pairs of clean animals on the ark. As the Faithlife Study Bible points out, there seems to be a discrepancy between this and the instruction and that of Gen. 6:19-20 in which one pair of each was to be brought on the ark. It seems the latter instruction being specific for “clean animals” may be that some where needed for food and sacrifice.

Matthew 7

Matthew 7:6 (ESV) 6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

This seems oddly placed directly following Jesus’ teaching on not judging others and taking the log out of your own eye to clearly see the speck in another’s. Commentaries seem mixed on this as well. It seems the best explanation is that we are to regard the truths of God’s Word carefully and use discernment around evangelistic efforts. There will be some who will retaliate or actively thwart our attempts to share the gospel and our approach needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Ezra 7

Ezra 7:27 (ESV) 27 Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem,

That Ezra praised God for His work in King Artaxerxes to allow the priests and Levites to do everything needed for the house of God provides such a great model of divine recognition and acknowledgement. If man’s heart is only evil continually, then any time we see God-glorifying virtue, we are to see it as a work of God’s grace.

Acts 7

Acts 7:51–53 (ESV)

51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

This is an astonishing closing to Stephen’s speech after recounting the Israelite history from the time of Abraham. Such direct and confrontational tone. The people could have responded with repentance, but as we read, they instead were filled with rage, stopped of ears and, rushing together at him, stoned Stephen to death.

Carson on Matthew 7

Matthew 7:6 demands that we make judgments about who are “dogs” and “pigs,” and the paragraphs at the end of this chapter warn against false prophets (and tell us how we are to discern who is true and who is false), and who is truly a follower of Jesus and who is not. Moreover, not only does this chapter speak of a terrible judgment no less final than the flood (Matt. 7:13, Matt. 7:19, Matt. 7:23), but there are many passages in the New Testament that are equally uncompromising.

This is helpful in further clarifying the throwing of pearls before pigs. Inevitably, we will have judgments to make in our daily life, but we see here how these must be made from a place of full surrender to God’s Word.