January 3 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The  Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“The Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family,
because I have found you righteous in this generation.’” ~Genesis 7:1

If you’ve ever been ticked off because someone you love has been wronged, you might be able to understand how God feels when people bring harm to His world and the people He has created. Because God loves the world, He gets angry when rebellious people mess it up. In particular, He charges the proper authorities to deal harshly with those who have no regard for human life since He has created man in His image, a finite reflection of the Infinite (Gen. 9:6).[1] If you think you’re safe from the warnings in the chapter because you aren’t likely to commit murder, consider what James has to say in his little book.  “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (Jas. 3:10).  We should even be careful that we do not use our mouths to hurt our fellow image bearers. We will be held accountable for every idle word we speak!

Noah stood out in the wicked world he inhabited. His example of righteous living reminds us that we can overcome the pressure of living in a sinful society. We can be different. With God’s help we can live godly in this present world (Titus 2:12).

Does it anger you when you see the messed up world around you? That’s okay as long as you realize that ultimately God will bring justice and restoration in His time. Pray for justice and, where possible, work to bring it about. Only do not take matters that belong to God into your own hands. Dare to be different today, even if the world is headed for destruction, you can follow the path of Noah and live righteously in this unrighteous world.

[1] Some claim this verse as a support for modern-day capital punishment while others think that the law should be understood within the context of an ancient legal system wherein capital punishment was commonly used for all kinds of crimes. At the very least, the text clearly teaches that murderers should be dealt with harshly as a statement on the value of human life.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.