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bible reading day 12

Today's Bible reading: Genesis 13; Matthew 12. 

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever." (Gen 13:14-15 ESV)

Our homestead.  God's ultimate plan for humanity, as reflected here in God's promise to Abram, includes providing a good world to live in.  We are not ethereal beings created to float about the clouds.  As seen from the earliest chapters of Genesis we were created to be earth-dwelling, garden-cultivating, animal-raising, gem-mining, tool-shaping, music-making, walking-about beings who love God and keep his commandments. All through the OT the land promise to Israel is a major theme"A land flowing with milk and honey..." (Deut 27:3)  One of the judgments God used in disciplining the nation of Israel was periods of exile from the land. (See Deut 29-30)   

After his resurrection our Lord Jesus physically walked (he did not float) and talked with his disciples (in Aramaic, not telepathically).  He ate meals with them again, once even over a campfire like so many times on the road before his crucifixion (John 21:9).  It was a sort of post-resurrection cookout!  

Also, King David in his psalm about the Messiah returning to judge the earth (Psalm 110), said that after the final battle "He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head." (110:7) What a beautiful picture of the second Adam returning and refreshing himself by drinking from a stream.     

So, what we often call "heaven" is not our final home, but rather it is an intermediate state, where we will await the restoration of the new heavens and new earth: "But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Pet 3:13; see also Rev 21-22). 

Matthew 12.  I'm often asked about the "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" (12:32).  I think this statement is best explained by the verses which follow: "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil" (12:33-35).

Thus, this blasphemy is to so reject the triune God -- Father, the Son, and finally the Holy Spirit -- which closes the door to forgiveness.  In fact such a person would never even seek forgiveness, for he does not think he has sinned against the Father, nor does he believe that the Father has sent the Son, and now he rejects the Holy Spirit who brings conviction of his need for forgiveness.  I do not think this is something that a true Christian is capable of.  We have the enduring promise of 1 John 1:9...

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  


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