KJ Jan. 1-7, 2023

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January 1, Sunday

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Head Over Heel — This is the first indication in the Bible of the coming Messiah, Jesus.  It is a veiled prediction of the relationship between the fallen angel, Satan, and the Son of God, Jesus.  In this chapter, the interaction between the serpent and Eve is to be understood on two levels.  It was a natural snake in one sense as it probably curled around a branch of that forbidden tree, but it was supernatural in the sense that it could talk, reason, and question God’s commands, as can be seen earlier in the chapter.  On the supernatural level, this was Satan, appearing in the form of a serpent.  The Apostle John clearly identified him twice in the last book of the Bible, calling him “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Rev. 12:9; 20:2).  The prediction in Gen. 3:15 should also be seen on two levels.  The “enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed” can refer to the natural fear between snakes and humans that has existed for almost everyone since the time of Adam and Eve.  It must also be seen on the supernatural level since Satan does not have offspring and he lives forever.  The end of verse 15 refers to Satan and Jesus, when God told the serpent, “…he [Jesus] shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.”  Bruising (or crushing—NIV) the head is much more serious than bruising the heel.  Jesus would be physically harmed in His suffering on the cross, but Satan would be defeated and eternally crushed.  This chapter gives our first peek at Jesus, the Redeemer, who “was crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5).

Worship the Crushed Redeemer through this hymn.
Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed – YouTube

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January 2, Monday

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The Pre-incarnate Christ — This is the first of 56 times the expression “the angel of Yahweh” appears in the Old Testament.  It is no ordinary angel (or “messenger”), but is often identified and equated with Yahweh, as we will see in subsequent passages.  He showed supernatural knowledge: He called Hagar by name and named her mistress, Sarai, Abram’s wife (v. 8); He commanded her to return and submit to Sarai (v. 9); He promised a multitude of descendants from her (v. 10); He knew she was pregnant, that the baby was a male (v. 11), and that he would be independent and antagonistic (v. 12).  He could be a theophany (a visible manifestation to humankind) of God Himself, but the Apostle Paul identified this “angel of Yahweh” with the Son of God, the pre-incarnate Christ, when speaking of the people of Israel who escaped from Egypt and were wandering in the wilderness: “… and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4, cf. Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:8).  The Son of God is eternal; He has always existed and He has always been active in the creation and affairs of mankind.  Long before He came to earth as a baby, He was helping fearful Hagar, who was soon to give birth to a baby.

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name – YouTube

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January 3, Tuesday

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Provision and Promise — Twice in this passage, “the angel of Yahweh” called to Abraham from heaven.  The first call (v. 11) stopped Abraham from offering his son on the altar because He had provided a substitute sacrifice, a ram.  It was a call of provision.  Abraham had sufficiently demonstrated his willingness to do whatever God commanded him to do.  The second call (v. 15) was a call of promise.  God promised two things.  The first promise was that Abraham would have countless descendants, “as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore” (v. 17).  The second promise, however, seems to point to a single, significant descendant, i.e., Christ Himself: “…In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (v. 18).  The Apostle Paul confirmed this interpretation when he wrote about this passage: “…the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And TO YOUR SEED,’ that is, Christ” (Gal. 3:16).  The willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son was aborted because God provided a substitute, and the promised Christ would later be a substitute sacrifice for us.  As Paul also wrote, “He who indeed did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).  Jesus is God’s provision of His promise.

O Christ, What Burdens – YouTube

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Meditation: There is an interesting divine identification of “the angel of Yahweh” involved in His second call to Abraham.  He said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares Yahweh” (v. 16).  The term “Myself I” is “the angel of Yahweh” referring to Himself, yet He equates Himself with Yahweh (“…declares Yahweh”).  “The angel of Yahweh,” as the pre-incarnate Christ, is also Yahweh.  From this point on in our OT readings, we will assume that “the angel of Yahweh” is probably the Son of God acting as the agent of God the Father.

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January 4, Wednesday

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This Angel is God — The identity of “the angel of Yahweh” (v. 2) becomes clearer in His third OT appearance.  This “angel” is called both “Yahweh” (v. 4, 7) and “God” (v. 6).  When we think of God, we probably think of God the Father, but this “angel of Yahweh” is God, although He is not the Father.  There is only one God, but He is complex.  This “angel” is likely the pre-incarnate Christ, the Son of God.  Moses only saw a miraculous fire, but he “hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (v. 6).  He knew it was God because of the miracle of the non-burning bush, because of the voice that came from the midst of the bush (v. 4), because He knew Moses’ name (v. 4), because His presence made the ground holy (v. 5), and because He knew about the affliction of His people in Egypt (v. 7). 

Holy Ground – YouTube

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January 5, Thursday

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My Way — This is a very strange and unusual story that sounds like a fairy tale, but it really happened.  It features “the angel of Yahweh” again, mentioned ten times in this passage.  He appeared first only to the donkey and later to Balaam, which reveals His supernatural quality.  He was confrontive, opposing Balaam’s way and threatening with a drawn sword (vv. 23, 31).  He was challenging Balaam “because your way was contrary to me” (v. 32).  Something was wrong with Balaam’s motives.  Sometimes we also get stopped in our tracks, not knowing why.  It would be good to ask God and ourselves the reason.  Perhaps it is because we have wrong motives or that we are not willing to do what God wants us to do in His way.  For Balaam, “the angel of Yahweh” warned him to “speak only the word which I tell you” (v. 35).  Do it My way!  When Christ came to earth, He said, “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29).  Let’s make that our goal today as well.

God’s Way Is the Best Way – YouTube

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January 6, Friday

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The Coming King — Balak, the king of Moab, had hired the so-called prophet, Balaam, to curse the multitude of Israel on their way to the Promised Land.  After Balaam’s donkey incident, we read recently that God ordered him to “speak only the word which I tell you”  (22:35).  When he did that, he became a real prophet of God.  Part of that prophecy was the promise of a future stellar ruler for Israel: “…a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel” (24:17).  Who was that star and scepter?  It likely referred to David, whose dynasty would begin about 500 years later and bring Moab into subjection.  It probably also had a longer-range fulfilment in the Messiah, the King of kings.  Nearly 1000 years after David ruled, when the wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, they said, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him” (Matt. 2:2).  Jesus would one day be the ultimate King and Star.

What Star Is This? – YouTube

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January 7, Saturday

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Like Me — Moses told the people of Israel that God would raise up “a prophet like me” (v. 15), and then God backed him up by declaring, “I will raise up … a prophet like you” (v. 18).  Jesus was the final fulfilment of those predictions, as confirmed by Peter when he quoted from this passage in his impromptu sermon in the temple area after healing the lame man (Acts 3:19-22).  How was Jesus like Moses?  From the context of our reading for today, they were both prophets who spoke God’s words for the people to hear.  When the people saw God’s dramatic, supernatural demonstration at Mount Horeb (Sinai) with the clouds, the fire, and God’s voice, the multitude panicked with sensory overload and cried for an intermediary.  God then agreed to allow Moses to speak His words: “I will put my words in his mouth” (Deut. 18:18).  The Prophet to come would do the same.  Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63), and Peter confirmed it by saying, “You have words of eternal life” (v. 68).

Wonderful Words of Life – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

One thought on “KJ Jan. 1-7, 2023

  1. When I read Sunday’s scripture in Gen 3, I noticed that God made a “sound” as “he was walking in the garden”—human traits—and wondered if that was the pre-incarnate Jesus. Then yesterday, in Gen 16, Haggar said she had “seen (the back of) the One who sees me,” and I wondered if that was the pre-incarnate Jesus. Now in Gen 22 the angel of the Lord said, “I swear by myself…” and that seems to be the pre-incarnate Christ. This is pretty exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

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