Saturday, May 6, 2017

May 6: Ruth 2 – 4; Psalm 105:16-36; Proverbs 14:26-27; John 4:43-4:54



Overview

            Ruth: Ruth decides to begin gleaning in the harvest and asks permission from Naomi and gets it. She happens to glean in the fields of a relative of her father-in-law, Boaz. Boaz is a godly man who blesses his workers. He inquiries about Ruth in the field, treats her kindly, and protects her. That evening, Naomi explains to Ruth that he is a close relative, a redeemer. She encourages Ruth to remain in his fields. Ruth continues to glean in his fields until harvest is over.
            At the end of the harvest, Naomi tells Ruth to get dressed up and go to the threshing floor in the evening. When Boaz lies down, she is to uncover his feet. She does so and lies down also. At midnight, Boaz awakens and discovers Ruth. She asks him to spread his wings over her since he is a redeemer. He commends her for not running after young men and tells her he will settle the manner in the morning though he is not first in line as a redeemer. In the morning before people can see, Boaz gives her some barley to take to Naomi and Ruth returns home.
            Boaz goes to the city gate and when the kinsman that is first in line to redeem Naomi’s land comes by, he stops him and takes ten elders from the city to witness the transaction. When the redeemer discovers he will have to marry Ruth to get Naomi’s land, he declines. Boaz then tells the witnesses that today he has acquired Naomi’s land and taken Ruth as his wife.
            Ruth and Boaz have a baby. The women praise God and extol Boaz and Ruth’s character. The boy is name Obed who becomes the father of Jesse, the father of David.
            Psalm: I goofed yesterday. I wrote, “When Israel was small and wandered in the desert, he didn’t let anyone oppress them.” That was a reference to the Patriarchs, not Israel. Today we see God’s protection of Joseph when he was taken in slavery to Egypt. He was sent ahead of his brothers to prepare a place for them when the famine would occur. Then the Lord brought Joseph’s family to Egypt and multiplied them until he made them strong. He made the Egyptians mistreat Israel. Then he used Moses and Aaron to deliver them from Egypt by sending plagues and finally killing all the firstborn in Egypt.
            Proverbs: Putting God in proper perspective, fearing him, provides confidence, security for our children, good life, and avoidance of sin, the snares of death.
            John: Jesus arrives in Galilee. When an official in Capernaum heard Jesus was in Cana, he went and asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replied that they would not believe unless they see a miracle. The man didn’t respond to the comment but asked Jesus to come and heal his son before he died. Jesus told him to go, his son would live. The man believed and went home. On the way home, his servants met him and said his son was well. He recovered at the time Jesus said he would live. So, he and his household believed.

What Stood Out

            Ruth: “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel” (Ruth 4:14)!
            Psalm: “He had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave” (Ps 105:17).
            Proverbs: “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge” (Prov 14:26).
            John: “Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (John 4:50).

Insight

            Ruth: The beginning of the book of Ruth looks quite dismal for Naomi and Ruth, but that quickly turns around as Ruth meets Boaz. Boaz immediately is established as a godly man when he greets his workers with a blessing and their respect for him is also displayed in their response. Even though Ruth is a foreigner, he treats her with respect and makes sure that no one harms her. In addition, he makes sure that she gets extra gleaning as Boaz told the workers to purposely leave stalks of grain behind. This godly behavior extends to the incident on the threshing floor when he finds Ruth with him. He is willing to do what is right, regardless of the cost. He also does it openly and has all the proper customs in place to take Ruth as his wife. There is no mention of any other children and if there were none, that means that Boaz lost his family’s lineage as Obed’s genealogy should have been listed as the legal descendent of Elemilech even though the genealogy lists Boaz as his father.
            Boaz is an inspiration to show that even in the times of the Judges when there were all sorts of nonsense going on, there were still people who lived and behaved the way they should. During our current times, where we see people behaving sinfully, we can live like Boaz. We don’t’ have to do what is right in our eyes, but what is right in the Lord’s eyes. That means treating others kindly regardless of their race, religion, or whatever. It means doing the right thing regardless of what the political climate says is right or wrong. We know the Lord and that means we have a higher standard.
            Psalm: God’s sovereignty is evident in the way he used Joseph to prepare a place for his family years before the famine hit the land. This is a wondrous thought to consider. Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. When Israel went to Egypt, they received the best of the land because of what God had done for Joseph. It wasn’t based on their own merit. When we go to heaven and enter God’s kingdom there, it will be so much better than this earth that we will be overwhelmed. And it isn’t based on our merit but on our relationship with Jesus who is the Son of the King.
            Proverbs: We were talking to some people today on our walk and it was about the trash being thrown on the streets, people not picking up after their dogs, or picking up after their dogs and then tossing the bags in to the trees. We agreed that these people were teaching their children some really bad manners and that something had gone terribly wrong in their upbringing to do this. This Proverb explains it. When we fear the Lord, we are confident and provide a safe place for our children. That includes good teaching so they will learn the paths and turn away from snares. Without a fear of the Lord, people do what they want and their children will suffer poor attitudes and behavior because of it.
            John: I don’t think the man that came to Jesus was who Jesus was addressing when he said they wouldn’t believe unless they saw signs and wonders. The man just seemed desperate to have his son healed. What is amazing is that he did believe Jesus. Most often, healings took place when Jesus was present and even so, this was only Jesus’ second miracle, so the man didn’t have any prior evidence to believe that Jesus could heal his son, yet he came to Jesus. His faith was evident that he went away without knowing that Jesus’ word had done what he said. He only believed and that is more than most people.
            That is the kind of faith we should all have. We should be able to take Jesus at his word. But there are still a lot of people who depend on miracles to substantiate their faith. They are probably spiritually poorer than those who don’t need a miracle.

Application

            I want to be like Boaz. I want to be able a godly person who does what is right regardless of the cost. I also want to be like the official from Capernaum who believes without first seeing the evidence.

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