Archive for the ‘Security’ Category


Under Gods Command

CHAPTER  1. Ruth remains loyal to Naomi

Ruth 1:1-18 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a whiled in the country of Moab. 2The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.  3Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Kilionl also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem  6When Naomi heard in Moabn that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”     Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”  11But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13would you wait until they grew up Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD’s hand has turned against me!”   14At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.  15“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”  16But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

The story of Ruth takes place sometime during the period of the rule of the judges. These were dark days for Israel, when “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). But during those dark and evil times, there were still some who followed God. Naomi and Ruth are beautiful examples of loyalty, friendship, and commitment—to God and to each other.

Moab was the land east of the Dead Sea. It was one of the nations that oppressed Israel during the period of the judges (Judges 3:12-31), so there was hostility between the two nations. The famine must have been quite severe in Israel for Elimelek to move his family there. They were called Ephrathites because Ephrath was an earlier name for Bethlehem. Even if Israel had already defeated Moab, there still would have been tensions between them.

Friendly relations with the Moabites were discouraged (Deuteronomy 23:3-6) but probably not forbidden, since the Moabites lived outside the Promised Land. Marrying a Canaanite (and all those living within the borders of the Promised Land), however, was against God’s law (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). Moabites were not allowed to worship at the tabernacle because they had not let the Israelites pass through their land during the Exodus from Egypt.  As God’s chosen nation, Israel should have set the standards of high moral living for the other nations. Ironically it was Ruth, a Moabitess, whom God used as an example of genuine spiritual character. This shows just how bleak life had become in Israel during those days.

There was almost nothing worse than being a widow in the ancient world. Widows were taken advantage of or ignored. They were almost always poverty stricken. God’s law, therefore, provided that the nearest relative of the dead husband should care for the widow; but Naomi had no relatives in Moab, and she did not know if any of her relatives were alive in Israel.     Even in her desperate situation, Naomi had a selfless attitude. Although she had decided to return to Israel, she encouraged Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab and start their lives over, even though this would mean hardship for her. Like Naomi, we must consider the needs of others and not just our own. As Naomi discovered, when you act selflessly, others are encouraged to follow your example. 1:11 Naomi’s comment here (“Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?”) refers to levirate marriage, the obligation of a dead man’s brother to care for his widow (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). This law kept the widow from poverty and provided a way for the family name of the dead husband to continue.     Naomi, however, had no other sons for Ruth or Orpah to marry, so she encouraged them to remain in their homeland and remarry. Orpah agreed, which was her right. But Ruth was willing to give up the possibility of security and children in order to care for Naomi.

Ruth was a Moabitess, but that didn’t stop her from worshiping the true God, nor did it stop God from accepting her worship and blessing her greatly. The Jews were not the only people God loved. God chose the Jews to be the people through whom the rest of the world would come to know him. This was fulfilled when Jesus Christ was born as a Jew. Through him, the entire world can come to know God. Acts 10:35 says that he “accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” God accepts all who worship him; he works through people regardless of their race, sex, or nationality. The book of Ruth is a perfect example of God’s impartiality. Although Ruth belonged to a race often despised by Israel, she was blessed because of her faithfulness. She became a great-grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.

Lets Bring it Home: No one should feel disqualified to serve God because of race, sex, or national background. And God can use every circumstance to build his kingdom.


UNDER GODS COMMAND
LIVING IN UNITY! WAKE UP CHURCHES! WE ARE THE ONES RUNNING PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE CHURCH

I went to Church Sunday and the preacher told a story about a young man who had to go through a beat down in order to be accepted in the gang he joined. Well, sometime later the Preacher got the young man to turn away from the gang and to turn to the Church, well he did this and joined the Church. Sometime later, the young man stop coming to Church and no one knew why, and could not contact him. The Preacher finally caught up with him, and asked him why he stop coming to Church. The young man said, that when he joined the church he thought he would experience the same family love from Christians that he did with his gang, but he didn’t. So he went back to where he felt part of a family.

A good friend reminded me of this Scripture.

Psalm 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is life precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

David stated that unity is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, unity does not abound in the Church, as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Unity is important because

(1) it makes the church a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us;
(2) it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;
(3) it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy.


Under Gods Command

John 12:9-11 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priest made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

The chief priests blindness and hardness of heart caused them to sink ever deeper into sin. They rejected the Messiah and planned to kill him, and then plotted to murder Lazarus as well. One sin leads to another. From the Jewish leaders point of view, they could accuse Jesus of blasphemy because he claimed equality with God. But Lazarus had done nothing of the kind. They wanted Lazarus dead simply because he was a living witness to Jesus power. This is a warning to us to avoid sin. Sin leads to more sin, a downward spiral that can be stopped only by repentance and the power of the Holy Spirit to change our behavior.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 5:3-10 – For the lips of an adulterous drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edge sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.  She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Now then, my sons listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.  Keep to a path far from her; do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house.   

This “adulteress” is a prostitute.  Proverbs includes many warnings against illicit sex for several reasons.  First, a prostitute’s charm is used as an example of any temptation to do wrong or to leave the pursuit of wisdom.  Second, sexual immorality of any kind was and still is extremely dangerous.  It destroys family life.  It erodes a person’s ability to love.  It degrades human beings and turns them into objects.  It can lead to disease.  It can result in unwanted children. Third, sexual immorality is against God’s law.

Any person should be on guard against those who use flattery and smooth speech (lips that drip honey) that would lead him or her into sin.  The best advice is to take a detour and even avoid conversation with such people.


Under Gods Command
Lazarus Becomes Sick and Dies

John 11:33-37 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of thee blind man have kept this man from dying?”

John stresses that we have a God who cares. When Jesus saw the weeping and wailing, he too wept openly. Perhaps he empathized with their grief, or perhaps he was trouble at their unbelief. In either case, Jesus showed that he cares enough for us to weep with us in our sorrow. This portrait contrasts with the Greek concept of God that was popular in that day. A God with no emotions and no messy involvement with humans. Here we see many of Jesus emotions-compassion, indignation, sorrow, even frustration. He often expressed deep emotion and we must never be afraid to reveal our true feelings to him. He understands them for he experienced them. Be honest and don’t try to hide anything from your Savior. He cares.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 28:26 – He who trust in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

For many people, the rugged individualist is a hero. We admire the bold, self-directed men and women who know what they want and fight for it. They are self-reliant, neither giving nor asking advice. What a contrast to God’s way. A person can’t know the future and can’t predict the consequences of his or her choices with certainty. And so the totally self-reliant person is doomed to failure. The wise person depends on God.


Under Gods Command

John 6:5-7 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bit!”

When Jesus asked Philip where they could buy a great amount of bread, Philip started assessing the possible cost. Jesus wanted to teach him that financial resources are not the most important ones. We can limit what God does in us by assuming what is and is not possible. Is there some impossible task that you believe God wants you to do? Don’t let your estimate of what can’t be done keep you from taking on the task. God can do the miraculous; trust him to provide the resources.