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The Treatment of Servants

The Treatment of Servants.jpg

The laws were given because everything we do has consequences. It is vital to think before acting, to consider the effects of our choices. Think of your plans for today and consider what their long- range results will be. As we deal with others, we should keep the principles of these laws in mind. We should act responsibly and justly with all people- friends and enemies alike.

The ‘eye for eye’ rule was instituted as a guide for judges, not as a rule for personal relationships or to justify revenge. This rule made the punishment fit the crime, thereby preventing the cruel and barbaric punishments that characterized many ancient countries. Jesus used this principle to teach us not to retaliate (Matthew 5:38-48). Judges, parents, teachers and others who work with people must make wise decisions in order for discipline to be effective. A punishment too harsh is unfair, and one too lenient is powerless to teach. Ask God for wisdom before you judge.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
12 Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.
13 If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.
14 But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.
15 Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.
17 Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.

Let’s Pray: Every law given by Lord is for each one of us to move away from sin. We need laws to guide us. Lord, has provided us laws so that we can be delivered. As we reflect on the laws that are given in this chapter, we see the glory of God and his love for the generations. We trust in you Lord and we denote our lives to you. We pray that everything about us begins with you before we do anything, we pray that we are able to abide by the rules and laws you have given us. Lord, let our ever breath be dedicated to you. In the precious name of our Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Chapter 21: The Treatment of Servants
1 These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:
2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt.
3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone.
5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,”
6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.
7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.
8 If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her.
9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.
10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife.
11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.
12 Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.
13 If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee.
14 But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.
15 Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
16 Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.
17 Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.
18 When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed,
19 but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.
20 When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished.
21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.
22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
26 When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye.
27 If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.
28 When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall not be liable.
29 If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
30 If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim’s life.
31 If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule.
32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slave owner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Laws dealing with property and compensation
33 If someone leaves a pit open, or digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it,
34 the owner of the pit shall make restitution, giving money to its owner, but keeping the dead animal.
35 If someone’s ox hurts the ox of another, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the price of it; and the dead animal they shall also divide. 36 But if it was known that the ox was accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not restrained it, the owner shall restore ox for ox, but keep the dead animal.

 

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Israel at Mount Sinai

Israel at Mount Sinai.jpg

Moses was told to consecrate the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary routine in order to dedicate themselves to the God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and pre-occupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparations to get your mind ready to meet God.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts of this New Year 2016. With the welcoming of this year we also welcome You among our midst and truly pray that You bless each one of us with abundant blessings and prosperity. O God! Be gracious and bless us all. Amen

Chapter 19: Israel at Mount Sinai
1 On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites:
4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
5 Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine,
6 but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”
7 So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him.
8 The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.” When Moses had told the words of the people to the LORD,
10 the LORD said to Moses: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes
11 and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
12 You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death.
13 No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows; whether animal or human being, they shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.”

14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people. He consecrated the people, and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said to the people, “Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently.
19 As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder.
20 When the LORD descended upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, the LORD summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to the LORD to look; otherwise many of them will perish.
22 Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves or the LORD will break out against them.”
23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people are not permitted to come up to Mount Sinai; for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and keep it holy.'”
24 The LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you; but do not let either the priests or the people break through to come up to the LORD; otherwise he will break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

 

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THE LORD’S PRAYER

01 THE LORDS PRAYER

(Mt 6:5-15; Mk 11:24- 26; Lk 11: 1-13 Jesus teaches us  to pray)

Our Father/who art in heaven, /hallowed be Thy Name. /Thy kingdom come, /Thy will be done on earth, /as it is in heaven. /Give us this day our daily bread; / and forgive us our trespasses /as we forgive those who trespass against us; /and lead us not into temptation, /but deliver us from evil. Amen

 

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God Gives the People Water

God Gives the People Water.jpg

Again the people complained about their problem instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or by rearranging our priorities. Some can be solved by discussion and good counsel. But some problems can be solved only by prayers. We should make determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining because complaining only raises our level of stress. A prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?” God defeats the Amalekites.
13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.
15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The LORD is my banner.

Let’s Pray: Lord, we believe in your mercies and care. You are all sovereign; please help us trust you in your timing. We try to get impatient and tend to take matters in our hands. We know that this is a weakness of ours, we are sorry. Holy Spirit please transforms this part of us. Help us to trust in you Lord and trust that your timing is best. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Chapter 17: God Gives the People Water
1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”
3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5 The LORD said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?” God defeats the Amalekites
8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.
9 Moses sai to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and
Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set.
13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The LORD is my banner.
16 He said, “A hand upon the banner of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

 
 

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God Sends Quails and Manna

God Sends Quails and Manna

It happened once again, as the Israelite faced danger and shortage of food, they complained bitterly and expressed that they wanted to return to Egypt. Though they really didn’t want to return to Egypt; they just wanted life to get a little easier. But as always, God provided for their needs. Thus, when pressure comes your way, resist the temptation to make a quick escape. Instead focus on God’s power and wisdom to help you deal with the cause of your stress.

God promised to meet the Hebrew’s need for food in the desert, but he decided to test their obedience. God wanted to see if they would obey his detailed instructions. We can learn to trust him as our Lord only by following. We can learn to obey by taking small steps of obedience.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your complaining against the LORD. For what are we, that you complain against us?”
10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
12 “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'”
26 Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none.”
28 The LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?
31 The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, today’s chapter is a beautiful example of how much you love and care for your children. You have always brought the best for your children and us. We are also like the Israelite, we see only the problems and hardships which are present and forget that you have a much larger prospect planned for us. We give up so easily and complain. Lord, help us that instead of complaining about our problems we should pray. Prayers draw us near to you. Guide and help us make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining. Prayers quite our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen. In the precious name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Chapter 16 God Sends Quails and Manna

1 The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt.
2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your complaining against the LORD. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the LORD has heard the complaining that you utter against him
— what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.'”
10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
11 The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
12 “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'”
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.
16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.'”
17 The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less.
18 But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed.
19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.”
20 But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them.
21 Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses,
23 he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.'”
24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses commanded them; and it did not become foul, and there were no worms in it.
25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.
26 Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none.”
27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none.
28 The LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?
29 See! The LORD has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.”
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, in order that they may see the food with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'”
33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.”
34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the covenant, for safekeeping.
35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
36 An omer is a tenth of an ephah.

 

 

 

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What is Lent?

Lent

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is derived by counting back 40 days (not including Sundays) from Easter day. Ash Wednesday is so called because of the imposition of Ashes on the foreheads of faithful, which serve as a reminder of the call to repentance and to believe in the good news. The period of Lent is a reminder of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before taking up the mission he received from his father.

Immediately after the sixth antitheses (5:21-48) in the Sermon on the Mount, there follows instructions on three practices that were common among the Pharisees as a sign of closeness to God namely, alms-giving, prayer and fasting. All three though only a means to reach god can be made ends in themselves. Alms-giving can be ostentatious, prayer can be used to show-off and fasting can be used to point to one’s self. Jesus cautions the listeners about these dangers and challenges them to make them all internal activities that will lead the way to God rather than being made ends in themselves. The focus thus is on motivation with which one does what one does. If the motivation for doing good is to win the admiration of the human beings, then that action is selfish and self motivated and so does no good at all. If the action is done out of a sense of duty or obligation, it cannot be called pure and is instead diluted. However, if one does the action and accepts that the reward is in the performing of the action itself, such an action can be salvific. This is the challenge not only of Ash Wednesday, but of the whole season of Lent, “to give and not to count the cost, to labor and to look for no reward.”

For us Christians, Jesus has simplified matters. There is absolutely no obligation to love. When there is love then all our nations come from our hearts and spontaneously without counting the cost. Alms-giving becomes generous and spontaneous, prayer becomes union with God and leads to action and fasting is done in order to show our dependence on God and not on earthly things. How often have made “means” ends in themselves?

Taken from the Daily Reading, God’s Word 2013.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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The Floodwaters Recede

The Floodwaters Recede

Are we as obedient as Noah? Noah did everything god will ask him to do. He did not walk out of the ark till God had spoken, though the waters had receded. Such obedience comes with deep faith. And trust in God. How marvelous it would be to follow and believe in God!
In today’s world where humanity is very rarely to be found and there are things that allure us away from God. And it is the word of God which is provided to us in the form of Bible that we can hear God speak to us. By the grace of God we would just not be saved from this world but we shall be granted eternity eve n after we are long gone.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
“Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Let’s Pray: Lord, it is through you that my soul shall be delivered. Your grace had guided Noah through the great floods. Help, me too, Lord, in my day-to-day endeavors, that I may seek Your counsel always. Amen

Chapter 8: The Floodwaters Recede

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided;
2 the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained,
3 and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated;
4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
5 The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.
6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made
7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.
8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground;
9 but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark;
11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.
12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.
13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.
14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
15 Then God said to Noah,
16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh — birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth — so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
18 So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.
19 And every animal, every creeping thing, and families.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.
22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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