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Picture credit: Kathy Cassidy on Flickr

Classroom Punishments

There was the idea that if the whole class was punished then those who did no wrong could put some peer pressure on those who had misbehaved and it wouldn't happen again.

Genesis 6:1-22

Reference:  v. 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  When I was in primary school the greatest punishment a teacher could give was holding you in over recess or lunchtime.  As these playtimes were often the best part of school, it was incredibly painful to miss any part of it.  I was generally a very well behaved student.  I admired many of my teachers and worked hard to seek their approval.  And so the only times I was really kept in from recess or lunchtime was when the majority of the class had been naughty or noisy and the teacher would keep us all in.  There was the idea that if the whole class was punished then those who did no wrong could put some peer pressure on those who had misbehaved and it wouldn't happen again.  The real reason, however, was because the teacher was unable to determine who had been noisy and who had been well-behaved, so everyone was punished.  To a well-behaved student this did not really seem fair, but I guess it was better than the days where teachers could administer the cane!

Application:  God did not treat humanity like the classroom.  While the majority of people were wicked and had turned from him there was one man who had not.  And so, instead of keeping everyone in at recess time, God discerned who should be punished and who could live.
God does not lump us all in the same category.  No matter what family we come from, what we have done in the past and who we associate with, God sees our heart and knows if we are blameless or not.  While the treatment of people on earth may seem unfair and unjust, God loves us and desires the best for us.  May we have eyes like God, that see people's hearts and not lump then into stereotypes.

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to see as you do.  Amen.

When have you been treated unfairly?  What did it teach you?

Picture credit: John Keogh on Flickr

Time Goes By

I’m not feeling rushed or that my time is nearly over but I’m constantly made aware of my finite time here on earth.

Genesis 5:1-32

Reference:  v.18  When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  My husband and I have been married for nearly seven years.  Even though I got married at the young age of 23, we were still regularly asked that dreaded question, ‘So, are you going to start having children soon?’  We were hardly down the aisle before that question was levelled at us.  And yet when I read about the first generations from Adam and Eve it seems that they were in no hurry to start having children.  162, 130, 105, 90 years old before starting the family (well, the family that was recorded).  Sure enough these gentlemen did live for over 900 years but 162 is a pretty decent age to start having a family… for our perspective.  In today’s world most people would have died childless if they had waited that many years to have children.  But clearly time was different back then.  God had made humans to live forever, so even living until you were 969 (like Methuselah) was just a short walk in the park compared to forever.

Application:  Even at the young age of 30 I feel that time goes by a lot quicker now than when I was a child.  I’m not feeling rushed or that my time is nearly over but I’m constantly made aware of my finite time here on earth.  While this can cause some people anxiety, it helps me to keep moving on the tasks I would like to achieve and to stay focussed on the things in my life that are important.  We rarely know when our time is up and so we must push forward in living every day for God, thus fulfilling our life’s purpose.

Prayer:  Lord, our concept of time is so minimal compared to your eternal self.  In every moment of every day may we give you the glory that you deserve.  Amen.

What are the things you would like to accomplish before you leave this world?