Day 14 (October 13)
Finally, Some Relief: Genesis 5:25-32
(Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot, Day 1)
1. Center Down
Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “I seek…” As you exhale whisper, “…your comfort, Lord!”
2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
When Metushalah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lemek. Metushalah lived 782 years after fathering Lemek, and he fathered sons and daughters. So all the days of Metushalah came to 969 years. Then he died. When Lemek had lived 182 years, he fathered a son, and named him Noah [‘Settling Down’], saying: ‘This man: he’ll relieve us [niham] from our work, from the pain of our hands, from the ground that Yahweh cursed.’ Lemek lived 595 years after fathering Noah, and he fathered sons and daughters. So all the days of Lemek came to 777 years. Then he died. When Noah had lived 500 years, Noah fathered Shem, Ham and Yephet. (Genesis 5:25-32, BfE)
For further exploration: Video: http://b.link/NoahIntro
3. Concepts to Consider:
After Hanok (Enoch) walked with God “and was not, because God took him,” a new hopeful character arrives on the scene: Noah. His name in Hebrew generally means “being settled,” “to console,” or “to bring relief.” The good earth that God had created was now in shambles, marred by the arrogant, unbridled, and irresponsible behaviors of humanity. Noah’s father, Lemek (not the malevolent descendent of Qayin/Cain, but of Seth) spoke prophetically into his son’s life. Perhaps Noah would be a man who, like Hanok, would also walk with Yahweh and would be the catalyst for turning back the curses and consequences of humanity’s falling-out with God.
It is essential to notice that just because the world is broken and “going to hell in a handbasket” does not mean humanity is without hope or a future. Always, God’s desire is re-creation. He’s just “looking for hearts that are whole (in shalom) toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
At a basic level, Lemek’s words foreshadow Mary’s (the mother of Jesus) song of hope (Luke 1:50) and the angels’ tidings of shalom and good will for all people (Luke 2:15). They are all declarations of good news! Finally… some relief from oppression and fear–the curse of the ground rescinded! God’s good earth restored through… a son.
Tonight, as we open our celebration of Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles—which is at its heart a harvest festival rejoicing in the provision of God–let us remember that through Jesus we can experience ultimate freedom and relief. He is the final Adam and Noah who has the power to turn our lives into a garden of fruitfulness and joy.
4. Reflection Questions:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries).
- If you have children in your life, how will speak hope and a future into their lives? How will you help them see that God’s grace and love are always active in their lives?
5. Prayer for Today:
A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Feast of Tabernacles
Abba Father, we thank You for calling us to worship You and bring You gifts during the Feast of Tabernacles. Thank You, Jesus, for teaching us God’s Word as You taught the Israelites at the Temple in Jerusalem during the Festival of Tabernacles. Holy Spirit, we thank You for bringing God’s Word to our remembrance which tells us to celebrate this special Feast each year from generation to generation. O God, You are our God; we earnestly search for You. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how we praise You! We will praise You as long as we live, lifting up our hands to You in prayer. You satisfy us more than the richest feast. We will praise You with songs of joy.
Glorious Father, the Feast of Tabernacles belongs to You, and we will all appear before You, O Lord our God, at the place You choose. We commit to appearing before You with special gifts. Lord, we will come before You joyfully declaring that this festival will be a happy time of celebrating with our sons and daughters, pastors, neighbors, orphans and widows from our towns. For seven days, we will celebrate this festival to honor You, Lord, at the place You choose, for You have blessed us with bountiful harvests and have given us success in all our work. We declare that this festival will be a time of great joy for all. While we remember that You brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and had them live in temporary shelters, we will remember that Jesus Christ has become our permanent shelter. We anticipate Your glory “tabernacling” among us during this exciting feast. We are expecting your presence, anointing, healing, power, joy, peace, and love.
Heavenly Father, we pray for Your provision of both the time and the resources to celebrate this festival in a way that will be pleasing to You. Grant us favor with our employers during the festival. Holy Spirit, bring to our minds the special gifts we should bring to the Lord on each of the seven days of the festival. Help us to be grateful for God’s bountiful provision of all that we need so we may be generous in our giving. As we build our shelters (tents), help us to share with our families, so that everyone understands that each shelter, regardless of its size or placement, is built in remembrance of God’s blessings in our lives.
Holy Father, when You brought Your people out of Egypt, they refused to obey and did not remember the miracles You had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt! But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them. In Your mercy, Father, forgive those of us for being slow or reluctant to be grateful for the many blessings You have bestowed upon us. Forgive those who are disobedient to Your Word and fail to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with joy and gratitude. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive; and we will be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Lord, You are King! Let the nations tremble! You sit on Your throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake! You sit in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above all the nations. Let them praise Your great and awesome Name. Your Name is holy! Mighty King, lover of justice, You have established fairness. You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel. We exalt You, Lord our God! We bow low before Your feet, for You are holy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.
© Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. ©2019 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved — No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI