Have Mercy On Me and Hear My Prayer

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GENESIS 8:1-10:32 | MATTHEW 4:12-25 | PSALM 4:1-8 | PROVERBS 1:20-23

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The story of Noah’s ark continues.  This cataclysmic event wipes out all life on earth except for Noah, his family, and the creatures on board his ship.  Ararat is a mountain somewhere in modern Turkey– that is where Noah’s ark comes to stop on land. 

God’s wrath is satisfied and this is what he says:  9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Furthermore, there is a special sign that is offered as a token and remembrance of this covenant.  God says:  15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

The account of the rest of Noah’s days — and he certainly lived to a ripe old age of 950 years — is somewhat puzzling.  The rest of the chapter provides an accounting of the descendants of Noah that populated the earth and formed the nations, many of which are alive and well to this day.

Next, our reading in the book of Matthew opens with an account of Jesus’ preaching throughout the area, and in particular, in the town of Galilee.  Jesus calls his first four disciples:  Peter, Andrew, James, and John.  Ordinary fishermen:  that’s all they were.  Not scholars or important townsfolk, but ordinary fishermen who were at work when Jesus approached them and asked if they would like to be fishers of men. 

What a calling!

Jesus continues his ministry of preaching and teaching, and most of all, healing.  He was the Great Physician that the world has since never seen the likes of.  He cared about the physical ills and pains that beset the body, and with his touch, he healed the people of their infirmities.  What miracles the people in that day would have witnessed, and what stories must have spread about this godman who went about healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and making the lame to walk!

The Psalm for the day is one that was probably written by David at a time when he must have been beset with doubt and fears.  David is direct and honest in his plea to God when he says:

1 Answer me when I call to you,
   my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
   have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

May it be that we have the same degree of confidence in taking our petitions to God.

Finally, in the Book of Proverbs, we find a very arresting set of verses.  It is Wisdom’s rebuke to you and me.  She says:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
   How long will mockers delight in mockery
   and fools hate knowledge?

23 Repent at my rebuke!
   Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
   I will make known to you my teachings.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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