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Jan 01: Gen 1, 2 | Psa 1, 2 | Matt 1, 2

Reading 1 - Gen 2:23

"The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called "woman", for she was taken out of man' " (Gen 2:23).

All other creatures, both male and female, were created independently from elements. They had, and have, no moral allegiance or sympathy toward one another. Man and woman are of one flesh. They do have such ties. Their relations are intended to be governed by the very highest ideal: the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7,8; Eph 5:29-33; Psa 45; Song of Songs). "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mat 19:5,6). It has been said that "Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam's side, not from his head that she might be his superior, nor from his feet that she might be trampled on at will, but from his side... that she might be his equal -- and from under his heart, that she might be cherished, and loved."

Reading 2 - Psa 1

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish" (Psa 1).

Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in the Bible, David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character. In his history we meet with trials and temptations not to be discovered, as a whole, in other saints of ancient times, and hence he is all the more expressive a type of our Lord.

David knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles, and David wore a crown; the lowly worker has his cares, and David handled a shepherd's rod; the wanderer has many hardships, and David abode in the caves of Engedi; the leader of men has his difficulties, and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him. The psalmist was also tried in that his friends, his counselor Ahithophel forsook him: "He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against me." His worst foes were they of his own household: his children were his greatest affliction. The temptations of poverty and wealth, of honor and reproach, of health and weakness, all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to mar his joy.

David no sooner escaped from one trial than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of depression and fear, than he was again brought into the lowest depths, and all God's waves and billows rolled over him. It is probably from this cause that David's psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether on the heights or in the depths, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools -- the school of heartfelt, personal experience.

As we are instructed in the same school, as we mature in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David's psalms, and find them to be "green pastures" where the weary lamb may lie down for a moment in peace.

Reading 3 - Mat 1:1

"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Mat 1:1).

Both David and Abraham received the promises of God with faith and joy (Mat 22:43; Joh 8:56). "How they would have rejoiced to read this 'dull' chapter" (Harry Whittaker, "Enjoying the Bible" 188).

Think of the analogy of a wealthy family (this analogy is actually used in Gal 4). All the children receive a generous "inheritance" (or at least their share is laid up in trusts or the like, for their use at a later date). But the children -- as they grow up -- also willingly and eagerly go to work in the family business, doing their own part to cause the family enterprise to grow, and making wise and prudent decisions about the "investments" of the company... not just for themselves, but especially for their own children and grandchildren. Here is a lengthy list of names, a list that can make for very dull reading. But if we make it personal, it comes alive! Read the genealogy as though it were your own family history (and it is: for if you belong to Christ, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promises: Gal 3:16,27-29). When read that way, it is immensely exciting. It is as though you suddenly discover that you are "heir" to a vast fortune (and what a property! the whole world in fact: Gen 13:14,15; Rom 4:13; 2Sa 7:12-16!) through an obscure branch of the family tree which you had never considered before. Just think: if you learned of this possible "inheritance", how avidly would you read and reread that "dull", "dry" list of names, just to be sure that it did in fact lead finally to you! And then how eagerly would you go to work at the family's enterprise, knowing that one day it would all belong to you!


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