Genesis 9–10, Matthew 9, Ezra 9, Acts 9

DateVersionReading Plan
@January 9, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 9–10

Genesis 9:1, 7 (ESV) And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”

I had never seen before how many times God either commanded or gave description to being fruitful, multiplying and/or filling the earth. It is spoken a numbers of times in the Pentateuch as well as the Prophets.

It was also interesting to read the genealogies of Gen. 10 and that many of Israel’s enemies stemmed from Ham, cursed for uncovering the nakedness of Noah.

Matthew 9

Matthew 9:11–13 (ESV) 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus telling the Pharisees to “Go and learn what this means” must have been some strong admonition given what we know about these religious leaders. As committed students of the law, I imagine this was received as acutely confrontational.

Matthew 9:23–24 (ESV) 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.

I had never noticed before how when Jesus approached Jairus’ house to heal his daughter, he did not just tell the people that she was sleeping but He also told them to go away. Not that He needed their absence to perform the miracle, but that the girl’s state was not final and that their commotion was unwarranted.

Ezra 9

Ezra 9:1 (ESV) 9 After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

This is such an amazing connection as earlier in today’s reading we saw how these nations derived from Ham (Gen. 10).

Ezra 9:6 (ESV) 6 “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.

Ezra’s response to the sins and faithlessness of the returned exiles is so powerful. It is an astonishing display of humility and penitence.

Acts 9

Acts 9:1–2 (ESV) 9 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

It is crucial to see here the state of Saul’s heart at the moment of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. His “breathing threats and murder” shows an immense depth of darkened callousness.

Acts 9:15–16 (ESV) 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

Being chosen as an instrument of God is a commission to suffer for the sake of our Lord’s name. Paul, through his many trials and afflictions, gives us a picture of the kind of life we should expect as faithful ambassadors of Christ.

Carson on Genesis 9–10

While this [Noahic] covenant that God makes not to destroy the earth the same way again is between God and all living things (9:16), Noah’s sons divide, much as Adam’s had. The wearisome cycle begins again, but it is not without hope: the city of God never falls into utter abeyance, but anticipates the more explicit covenantal distinctions to come, now just and around the corner, and the glorious climax to come at the end of redemptive history.

This is a wonderful word of encouragement that despite all worldly strife and division, God is leading all of history to a glorified end.