Friday, April 6, 2012
Welcome to Day 96 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
NOTE: The Life Journal Reading Plan on the Bible ap on my iPhone did not include Psalm 65… But the official LifeJournal.cc web site includes it. That’s what I go by.
I’d also like to say thanks to all of you who check in on this blog! I had someone approach me over the weekend who had no idea that I was the one facilitating this online Life Journal blog and forum. I guess I just assumed that people would know. So, anyway, if you have just recently joined us on this blog, welcome!
I’m Scott Sliver (Sly-ver), assistant pastor and worship leader at the Vineyard. Friend me on facebook and make sure you introduce yourself to me sometime in person! (Hopefully you can make our coffee meetup next Saturday in the Lodge at the Vineyard!)
Moving right along…
Ruth 3, 4 and we also read Psalms 64, 65, 2 Corinthians 6… So much great scripture today… I’m focusing on Ruth.
Ruth 3 and 4 concludes the beautiful story of Ruth… I would encourage you to go back and reread all four chapters of Ruth concurrently to maintain the flow of the story… I listened to it again just to try to get all the details straight. Click HERE to read/listen to all four chapters of Ruth.
(Keep in mind as you read about Ruth that she was a Moabite. Moab, the father of the Moabites, was the son of an incestuous birth by Laban and his oldest daughter… Imagine having THAT in your family’s story! You’ll find that in Genesis 19.)
The most incredible part of this story is that a Moabite woman is written into the genealogy of Jesus. To you and me, we may miss the significance of this one particular fact. If you read in Nehemiah 13:1-3, (quoting Deuteronomy 23:3) here is what is written; “On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) 3 When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.”
Ruth 1:15-17 is SO, SO significant… and it’s easy to gloss over it. “Look,” said Naomi, [to Ruth] “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But 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. 17 Where 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.”
This is an amazing story of redemption and God’s care for all… who turn to him. Regardless of the curse on the Moabites, Ruth turned to the LORD and he accepted her. So powerful.
We see in the genealogy of David (and ultimately, the genealogy of Jesus!), Ruth 4:21-22, “Boaz the father of Obed, [Ruth married Boaz and bore to him Obed] 22 Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.”
Isaiah 56 speaks to this amazing concept of redemption (in spite of the curse of foreigners…)
Isaiah 56:4 “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— 5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” 8 The Sovereign LORD declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”
That includes US! Gentiles! And Moabites like Ruth who “bind themselves to the LORD.” Ruth 1:17, “Where 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.”
Sounds like she bound herself to the LORD, doesn’t it?
What an amazing story of God’s redemptive nature… His heart to accept all who may be far off and yet long to draw near to Him… He will “give joy in his house of prayer.”
That redemption is found in Jesus… Colossians 1:12-14, “giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have…
redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
When I reflect back on my life, and I did that some yesterday as I was meeting with someone, I shared some of my early struggles in life and how God stepped into my life and changed its course.
I’m so thankful.
Psalm 65:2-4, “You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. 3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.”
Thank you Lord…