Jan 4, 2022

Genesis 4, Matthew 4; Optional Psalm 4, Proverbs 1:20-28

GENESIS 4 – More sad firsts in this chapter – the first murder and the first polygamy, but it ends with a note of hope in Gen 4:26, as some are calling upon the name of the LORD.  It took only one generation for people to go from eating fruit God told them not to (Gen 3) into the sin of murder. But the same root cause for both sins – choosing our own way over God and His way. When Cain is upset in Gen 4:5, God gave him an opportunity to make it right in Gen 4:6-7. But instead of choosing God’s way, Cain kills his brother instead. God warns Cain in Gen 4:7 that he must conquer the sin that was tempting him, but he fell as did his parents in Gen 3, with disastrous results. And we ALL give in to sin / temptation. Except for One…

MATTHEW 4 – When Jesus was tempted, He did NOT give in. He demonstrates how we should fight temptation as He quotes Scripture (Deuteronomy). Matt 4:4 – Jesus quotes Deut 8:3. This verse is one of the key reasons I’m such a believer in a plan to regular go through the whole Bible – our life depends on EVERY WORD that comes from God. Deut 8:3 is about how the times without ready access to food were tests that Israel failed. But Jesus perfectly passes the same test in Matt 4:4. And all HIS righteousness gets credited to the account of those who believe in Him.

Matt 4:5-6 – Satan quotes part of Psalm 91 out of context, taking a Psalm about TRUSTING God and turning into a temptation to TEST God. In Matt 4 we see Jesus properly using Scripture to FIGHT sin, and Satan using portions of Scripture out of context to TEMPT to sin.

Matt 4:13-16 – More about Jesus being the fulfillment of Scripture. He is the LIGHT in the darkness!

Matt 4:17 – Compare Matt 3:2. Jesus preaches the same message of REPENTANCE that John had preached.

Matt 4:19-22 – Jesus is worth anything we have to leave in order to follow Him.

Matt 4:23-24 – Jesus demonstrates His power / authority over ALL kinds of disease and demons. Nothing can withstand His power / authority!

Optional Psalm 4 – Many see this as a pair with Psalm 3. It was definitely during a tough time – David is crying out to God (Ps 4:1), people are discouraged, asking “Who will show us some good?” When discouraged like this, it’s so easy to turn AWAY from God. But David turns TO God, remembers how precious it is to belong to God (Ps 4:3), focuses on turning away from anger (Ps 4:4) and TRUSTING in God (Ps 4:5). He finds MORE joy in God than the wicked have when things seem to go well for them (Ps 4:7). And he RESTS in God (Ps 4:8). In times of distress may God help us trust in Him like this!

Optional Proverbs 1:20-28 – Who are you listening to? Notice all the potential distractions, and notice both the warnings AND promises made by wisdom. Prov 1:23 is a powerful theme in Proverbs – the wonderful blessing for those who listen and change in response to rebuke / reproof.