Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Pouting Prophet

 Jonah 4:1-11

 

The mercy of God towards the people of Nineveh makes Jonah angry. Jonah delivered the message, but Scripture does not state if he gave assistance or encouragement.

 

Verses 1-4

For what reason did Jonah turn out to be so furious when God saved Nineveh? The Jews would have rather not shared God's message with the Gentile country during Jonah's day, similarly as in Paul's day (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16). They failed to remember their unique reason as a country, to be a gift to the remainder of the world by sharing God's message with different countries (Genesis 22:18). Jonah believed that God ought not to give his salvation to a fiendish barbarian country. However, this is actually how he helps all who come to him today in confidence.

Jonah was furious that God had saved Nineveh. He failed to remember that God had pardoned his own wrongdoing of insubordination and had saved his life. How much better it would have been having he celebrated that the miscreants had repented of their sins and received the atonement (Luke 15:10).

Jonah uncovers the justification behind his hesitance to go to Nineveh (1:3). He did not want the Ninevites pardoned; he wanted them obliterated. Jonah did not comprehend that the God of Israel is additionally the God of the entire world. Is it safe to say that we are astonished when some individuals that we do not expect to go to God? Is it conceivable that our view is about as thin as Jonah's? We should not fail to remember that truly, we do not merit being pardoned by God.

Jonah had run from the responsibility of conveying God's message of obliteration to Nineveh (1:2-3); presently he wanted to die in light of the fact that the annihilation would not occur. How rapidly Jonah showed forgetfulness of God's benevolence toward him when he was in the fish (2:9-10). He was cheerful when God saved him, however furious when Nineveh was saved. However, Jonah was learning an important example about God's benevolence and pardoning. God's absolution was not just for Jonah or for Israel alone, it expands unto all who believe and repent.

Jonah was more worried about his own standing than God's. He realized that assuming that the people repented, none of his alerts to Nineveh would work out. This would humiliate him, despite the fact that it would give greatness to God. Might it be said that we are keener on gaining appreciation and glory for God or for ourselves?

 

Verses 5-11

God had ministered carefully to Jonah, similarly as he did to Nineveh and to Israel, and like he as to us. He might have obliterated Jonah for his resistant resentment, yet above it all, he delicately showed him something new. Assuming we submit to and obey God's Word, he will tenderly lead us. His unforgiving judgment is held for the people who continue in insubordination.

In verse nine, Jonah resented the passing of the plant, yet not over what might have happened to Nineveh. A sizable portion of us have cried at the passing of a pet or when a sentimental item with is broken, yet have we cried over the way that a companion does not know God? Why does it seem that it is so natural to be more thoughtful of our own concerns than to the spiritual requirements of individuals around us?

Once in a while, some individuals wish that judgment and annihilation would happen upon corrupt people whose insidiousness, they think requires quick discipline. In any case, God is more forgiving than we can envision. He has compassion and mercy for those sinners that we want to be judged, and he prepares plans to carry them to himself. What is our mentality toward the people who are particularly evil? Do we want them to be punished? Or then again do we wish that they could encounter God's benevolence and absolution?

God saved the mariners when they prayed for benevolence. God saved Jonah when he had prayed from inside of the fish. God saved the individuals of Nineveh when they had reacted to the preached Word that Jonah delivered. God answers the petitions of the individuals who call upon him. God will forever work his will, and he wants that all people come to him, that they all trust in him, and that all are to be saved. We can be saved if we heed the warnings that God sends to us in his Word. If we respond to God’s Word in obedience, he will be benevolent and merciful, and we will not receive his judgment.

 

The Preaching Prophet

 Jonah 3:1-10

 

Now Jonah fulfills his mission as he preaches at Nineveh.

 

Verses 1-3

Jonah had disregarded God and opposed him, however, God actually showed him sympathy. At the point when we disregard God, he might chastise us, yet he will, in any case, show empathy and pardon us assuming we abandon our wrongdoings.

Jonah fled from God, yet he was allowed a second opportunity to partake in God's work. We might feel that we are excluded from serving God due to some previous mishaps. Nevertheless, serving God is anything but a procured position. Not a solitary one of us fits the bill for the service of God, yet he actually requests that we complete his work. We may yet get another opportunity.

Jonah was to preach just what God told him, a message of destruction to the most impressive city on the planet. This was not the best task, but the individuals who carry God's Word to others ought not let prevalent burdens or feeling of dread toward others direct their words. They are called to preach God's message and his truth, regardless of how disliked it could be.

The Hebrew text sees no difference amongst the city appropriate and the regulatory locale of Nineveh which was around 30 to 60 miles across. The walls of the city were something like eight miles in boundary, obliging a populace of around 175,000 individuals. An incredibly extraordinary city, it required three days to simply stroll through it.

 

Verses 4-9

God's message is for everybody, all of humanity. Notwithstanding the insidiousness of the Ninevite public, they were receptive to God's message, and they repented of their sins right away. In the event that we just basically announce what we know of God, we would be amazed at the number of individuals that will actually listen.

 

Verse 10

The unbelieving individuals of Nineveh accepted Jonah's message and apologized. What a supernatural impact that God's Word had on these malevolent people. Their apology remained as a distinct difference to Israel's hardheadedness. The people of Israel had heard many messages from the prophets, yet they would not atone. The people of Nineveh simply heard God's message once. Jesus said that at Judgment Day, these Ninevites will ascend to censure the Israelites for their inability to apologize (Matthew 12:39-41). It is not our becoming aware of God's Word that satisfies him, yet our reacting loyally to it.

God reacted in leniency by dropping the punishment that he would deliver. God himself said that any country on which he articulated judgment would be saved assuming they atoned (Jeremiah 18:7-8). God pardoned Nineveh similarly as he had excused Jonah. God's reason to mete out judgment is to correct the wrongs that people have committed, not as vengeance. He is dependably prepared to show empathy to anybody ready to look for him and come to him with a repenting heart.

The Praying Prophet

 Jonah 2:1-10

 

Fear the God – Respect 2:1-9

 

At the beginning of chapter 1, we see Jonah as The Protesting Prophet. He did not want to go to Nineveh as directed by God. It is noted in verse three that he “rose up to flee…from the Presence of the Lord.” Jonah had sinned by running from God. However, we can see that although Jonah had sinned, the sailors prayed to God and were spared. Now we come to chapter two where Jonah prays from inside the great fish.

 

Verses 1-7:

This is a petition of thanksgiving, not a supplication for liberation. Jonah was grateful that he had not been drowned. He was conveyed in a most staggering manner and was overpowered that he had gotten away from an unavoidable death. Indeed, even from inside the fish, God heard Jonah’s petition. We can pray no matter where we are at and whenever, and God will hear us. Our wrongdoing is never too incredible nor is our issue ever excessively hard for God to deal with.

Jonah said, "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord" (2:7). We regularly act the same way. When life is working out in an effective way, we will more often than not underestimate God, yet when we lose trust in our life, we then shout out to him. This sort of relationship with God can result in just a conflicting spiritual life. A steady everyday dedication to God advances a strong relationship with him. We are to look to God during both the great and the terrible occasions, and we will have a more grounded spiritual life. (Psalm 18:6; 130:1; 142:3)

 

Verses 8-10:

The individuals who worship false idols are forsaking any expected leniency from the Lord. Any object that we put our devotion in that replaces God is a lying vanity. We mislead ourselves with something that is foolish and empty. We should ensure that nothing assumes God's legitimate position in our lives.

Jonah was clearly not in a situation to make a deal with God. In lieu, he expressed gratitude toward God for saving his life. Our inconveniences should cause us to stick firmly to God, and not try to negotiate a deal to get out of the torment. We can give thanks to him and offer our praise to him for how he has helped us by his mercy and grace, and for loving toward us.

It took a supernatural occurrence of liberation to get Jonah to do as God had told him to do. As a prophet, he was committed to submit to God's Word, however, he had attempted to get away from his obligations. He currently swore to keep his promises (Deuteronomy 23:21; Psalm 50:14). Jonah's story started with a misfortune, yet a more noteworthy misfortune would have occurred assuming God had permitted him to continue to run. When we realize that God wants us to accomplish something, we ought not to run. God may not stop and help us as he did with Jonah.

The Protesting Prophet

 Jonah 1:1-17

 

Fear of God – Scared 1:3

Jonah sinned and ran from God; the sailors were spared and came to God.

 

Verses 1-3

Jonah is referenced in 2 Kings 14:25. He prophesied during the rule of Jeroboam II, the king of Israel from 703-753 B.C. He might have been one of the youthful prophets of the school referenced regarding Elisha's service (2 Kings 2:3).

Jonah was called by God to preach to Nineveh, the main city in Assyria, the rising force of Jonah's day. Within 50 years, Nineveh would turn into the capital of the immense Assyrian Empire. Jonah does not say a lot regarding Nineveh's underhandedness, yet the prophet Nahum gives us more understanding. He says that Nineveh was at real fault for fiendish plots against God (Nahum 1:9), abuse of the vulnerable (Nahum 2:12), savagery in war (Nahum 2:12-13), prostitution, idolatry, and black magic (witchcraft) (Nahum 3:4). God advised Jonah to go to Nineveh, around 500 miles upper east of Israel, to caution of judgment and to announce that there would be benevolence and pardoning assuming that the people of Nineveh would repent.

Nineveh was a strong and underhanded city. Jonah grew up despising the Assyrians and dreading their barbarities. His contempt was so deep that he did not want them to accept God's kindness. Jonah was really apprehensive that the people would actually repent (4:2-3). Jonah's demeanor is illustrative of Israel's hesitance to impart God's affection and leniency to other people, despite the fact that this was their undeniable mission (Genesis 12:3). The Israelites, similar to Jonah, did not want non-Jews (Gentiles) to acquire God's approval.

Jonah was apprehensive. He realized that God had a particular occupation for him to do, however, he would have rather not done it. When God directs us through his Word, some of the time we run in dread, stating that God is asking a lot from us. Dread made Jonah run. In any case, running caused him problems. Eventually, he learned that it is ideal to do what God asks to begin with. Be that as it may, by then he had addressed an exorbitant cost for running. It is far superior to comply from the beginning.

 

Verses 4-7

Prior to their arrival and settling in the Promised Land, the Israelites had lived a nomadic life. They meandered from one spot to another, looking for pastures that were good for their flocks. In spite of the fact that they were not a nautical group, the area along the Mediterranean Sea and the adjoining sea powers of Phoenicia and Philistia permitted a lot of contact with ships and mariners. The ship that Jonah sailed on was presumably a huge exchanging vessel with a deck.

Jonah's noncompliance to God imperiled the existence of the ship’s crew. We have an extraordinary obligation to comply with God's Word in light of the fact that our wrongdoing and defiance will hurt others around us.

While the tempest seethed, Jonah was snoozing soundly in the ship’s hold. Indeed, even as he ran from God, he obviously did not harbor a feeling of remorse. Yet, the shortfall of culpability is not dependably a gauge of whether we are making the wisest decision. Since we can deny reality, we cannot gauge submission by our sentiments. All things considered; we should contrast what we do with God's principles for living.

The ship’s crew cast lots (like drawing straws) to track down the blameworthy individual by depending on their strange superstitious notions to offer them the response. Their framework worked, however simply because God stepped in to tell Jonah that he was unable to run from him.

 

Verses 8-12

You cannot look for God's adoration and run from him simultaneously. Jonah before long understood that regardless of where he went, he was unable to move away from God. However, before Jonah could get back to God, he needed to quit fleeing from him. We ought to ask ourselves, what has God advised us to do? Assuming that we want a greater amount of God's affection and power, we should complete the obligations that he gives us. We cannot say that we really trust in God if we decline to do what he says to do.

Jonah realized that he had rebelled and that the tempest was his shortcoming, however, he said nothing until the ship’s crew cast lots and the part fell on him (1:7). Then, at that point, he was able to give his life to save the mariners (in spite of the fact that he had done likewise for Nineveh). Jonah's disdain for the Assyrians had impacted his point of view.

 

Verses 13-17

By attempting to save Jonah's life, the pagan mariners showed more sympathy than Jonah, for Jonah would have rather not cautioned the individuals of Nineveh of the coming judgment of God. Believers ought to be embarrassed when unbelievers show more concern and empathy than they do. God wants us to be more compassionate about all of humanity, the lost and the saved.

Jonah had resisted God. While he was fleeing, he halted and submitted to God. Then, at that point, the ship’s crew started to revere God since they saw the tempest calm down. God can utilize even our missteps to help other people come to know him. It very well might be agonizing yet conceding our wrongdoings can be a strong guide to the people who do not know God. It is quite peculiar that the agnostic mariners did what the whole country of Israel would not do, implored God, and promised to serve him.

Many have attempted to rationalize this inexplicable event, yet the Bible does not portray it as a fantasy or a legend. We ought not to rationalize this supernatural occurrence as though we could single out which of the wonders in the Bible that we want to accept and which ones we do not. This sort of demeanor permits us to scrutinize any piece of the Bible, making us lose our confidence in it as God's valid and dependable Word. What Jonah experienced, foreshadowed what Christ would go through as a demonstration of his death and resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40).

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Alliance of the Bridegroom

Ruth 4:1-22

 

Boaz knew where to find his relative, at the city entryway. This was the focal point of movement. Nobody could enter or leave the city without going through the city gate. Dealers set up their brief shops close to the entryway, which additionally filled in as a "city hall." Here city authorities accumulated to execute business. Since there was such a lot of movement, it was a decent spot to track down witnesses (4:2) and a fitting spot for Boaz to make his exchange.

Boaz keenly communicated his viewpoint to the family member. In the first place, he presented new data not yet referenced in the story. Elimelech, Naomi's previous spouse, actually had property close by that was presently available to be purchased. As the closest family member, this man had the main right to purchase the land, which he consented to (Leviticus 25:25). However, at that point Boaz said that as per the law, assuming the relative purchased the property he additionally needed to wed the widow (likely on the grounds that Mahlon, Ruth's previous spouse, and Elimelech's child, had acquired the property). At this specification, the relative withdrew.

He would have rather not entangle the inheritance that he was leaving for his own children. He might have expected that assuming he had a child through Ruth, a portion of his bequests would move away from his family to the family of Elimelech. Whatever his explanation, the way was currently clear for Boaz to wed Ruth.

Of the predecessors as a whole (counting Abraham), that they might have named, for what reason did these men refer to Pharez (additionally written as Perez)? The introduction of Perez was an illustration of the levirate practice, by which the sibling or closest male relative of the dead spouse wedded his widow (Genesis 38). Boaz, as the kinsman-redeemer, was following this levirate practice since Ruth's previous spouse had no living siblings (3:1). The relatives of Perez made Judah a noticeable tribe. Boaz, as well as David, and all of the Judean kings were relatives of Perez.

Ruth's adoration for her mother-in-law was known and perceived all through the city. Throughout the whole book of Ruth, her thoughtfulness towards others actually stayed unaltered.

God brought incredible gifts once again from Naomi's misfortune, significantly more prominent endowments than "seven sons," or a wealth of beneficiaries. All through her difficult stretches, Naomi kept on confiding in God. What is more, God in his time favored her incredibly. Indeed, even in our distresses and cataclysm, God can bring extraordinary gifts. We ought to resemble Naomi and not walk out on God when misfortune strikes. We ought not to inquire, "How could God permit this to happen to me?" Instead, we should confide in him. He will be with us even in the tough situations. His assets are limitless, and he is looking for individuals who will confide in him.

To a few, the book of Ruth might be only a pleasant story about a young lady who was lucky in life. In actuality, the occasions recorded in Ruth were essential for God's arrangements for the births of David and of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. Similarly, as Ruth knew nothing about this bigger reason in her life, we will not have a clue about the full reason and significance of our lives until eternity sets in and we are able to look back and see the big picture, which at this time, only God knows.

We should settle on our decisions based upon the values that God has set. If our life appears to be stuck in a waiting period, or in limbo, pursuing short-sightedness in our moral character and living for short-range joys are bad ways of trying to push forward. Due to Ruth's devoted dutifulness, her life and inheritance were huge despite the fact that she was unable to see the outcomes as a whole. We should live in unwaveringness to God, realizing that the meaning of our lives will stretch out past our lifetime. The heavenly prizes will offset any penance that we might have made in our life.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Acknowledgment of Boaz

Ruth 3:1-18

 

As widows, Ruth and Naomi could only anticipate troublesome occasions (1:8-9). In any case, when Naomi heard the report about Boaz, her hope for what's to come was reestablished (2:20). As was normal of her character, she considered Ruth first, empowering her to check whether Boaz would assume the liability of being a kinsman-redeemer to her.

A kinsman-redeemer was a family member who elected to assume liability for the more distant family. At the point when a lady's husband had passed on, the Law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10) stated that she could wed a sibling of her dead spouse. Yet, Naomi had no more children. In such a case, the closest relative with the deceased spouse could turn into a kinsman-redeemer and wed the widow. The closest relative did not need to wed the widow. Assuming he decided not to, the following closest relative could have his place. In the event that nobody decided to help the widow, she would most likely live in poverty the remainder of her life, on the grounds that in Israelite culture the inheritance was given to the child or closest male family member, not to the wife. To alleviate these inheritance rules, there were laws for gathering and kinsman-redeemer.

We have a kinsman-redeemer in Jesus Christ, who although he was God, came to earth as a man to save us. By his demise on the cross, he has reclaimed us from transgression and subsequently bought us to be his own people (1 Peter 1:18-19). This ensures our everlasting legacy.

The threshing (or sifting) floor was where the grain was isolated from the gathered wheat. The wheat stalks were squashed, either the hard way by hand or by cattle, and the significant grain (the inward parts) isolated from the useless debris (the external shell). The floor was produced using rock or soil and situated external to the town, typically on a raised site where the breezes would blow away the lighter debris when the squashed wheat was tossed (or winnowed). Boaz went through the night adjacent to the sifting floor for two reasons: to forestall burglary and to wait on his turn to sift grain.

Naomi's recommendation appears to be bizarre, yet she was not proposing a tempting demonstration. In reality, Naomi was training Ruth to act as per Israelite customs and law. It was normal for workers to lie at the feet of their lord and even receive a piece of his covering. By noticing this custom, Ruth would let Boaz know that he could be her kinsman-redeemer, and that he could track down somebody to wed her or wed her himself. It was a family-owned company, not anything to do with romance. Be that as it may, the story later turned out to be wonderfully heartfelt as Ruth and Boaz fostered an unselfish love and profound regard for one another.

As an outsider, Ruth might have believed that Naomi's recommendation was odd. Yet, Ruth heeded the guidance since she realized that Naomi was benevolent, reliable, and had moral trustworthiness. Every one of us knows a parent, a more seasoned companion, or relative who is continually paying special attention to our wellbeing. We ought to pay attention to the counsel of the people who are more experienced and wiser than we are. The experience and knowledge of such an individual can be important. Envision what Ruth's life would have been similar to had she overlooked her relative.

Boaz was an unselfish man. He had a lot to lose by respecting Ruth's solicitation, particularly since their first child would be Naomi's beneficiary, not his. Yet, Boaz looked upon Ruth's upright characteristics and felt honored that she had come to him. This was striking in a culture that viewed ladies, particularly unfamiliar ladies, more as property than as people.

Boaz had a lot to lose and very little to acquire, yet he made the right decision, and God regarded him. How would we react when the decision is between working on something for ourselves or making the right decision? We ought to make the right decision and allow God to deal with the outcomes.

Ruth and Naomi probably accepted that Boaz was their nearest relative. Boaz, as well, should have as of now considered wedding Ruth since his response to her shows that he had been mulling over everything. One man in the city was a nearer relative than Boaz, and this man had the principal right to accept Ruth as his significant other. Assuming he decided not to, then, at that point, Boaz could wed Ruth (3:13).

Naomi said that Boaz would finish with his promise immediately. He clearly had gained notoriety for keeping his promises. He did not rest until his undertaking was finished. Such dependable individuals endure in any age and culture. Do others see us as a person that will do what we say that we will do? Keeping our word and finishing our tasks ought to be high on anybody's list. Building a standing for trustworthiness, in any case, should be done in each step of our walk.

The Activity of Ruth

Ruth 2:1-23

 

In this chapter, we see the activity of Ruth. What did she do when she came to a new land and what was her purpose?

 

She Gleaned

When the barley and wheat were fit to be collected, gatherers were employed out to chop down the stalks and tie them into packs. Israelite law directed that the corners of the fields were not to be reaped. Likewise, any grain that was dropped was to be left for the gleaners, those destitute individuals who gathered it for their food (Leviticus 19:9, 23:22). The reason for this law was to take care of poor people and keep the proprietors from hoarding. This law filled in as a sort of government assistance program in Israel. Since she was a widow without any method for maintaining for herself, Ruth went into the fields to gather the grain.

Ruth made her home in an unfamiliar land. Rather than relying upon Naomi or trusting that favorable luck will occur, she stepped up to the plate. She was not terrified of conceding her need or endeavoring to supply it. When Ruth went out to the fields, God provided for her. During the times that we are waiting for God to move, he might be waiting for us to venture out, in taking the first step, to exhibit exactly how significant our need is.

 

She Tarried

Ruth's undertaking, however modest, tiring, and demeaning, was done steadfastly. What is our disposition when the assignment that we have been performing is not to our actual potential? The job needing to be done might be everything that could be done, or it could be the work that God needs us to do. Or then again as for Ruth's situation, it very well might be a trial of our temperament that can open up new opportunities.

In addition to the fact that Ruth took the initiative to work, she buckled down. There are times when challenging work with little reprieve is our main choice. Boaz saw Ruth's diligent effort. Had she viewed herself as excessively glad or humiliated to work, she would have botched the chance of meeting Boaz, completely changing her, and turning into the precursor of a king and the Messiah.

 

She Fell on Her Face

Outsiders or foreigners were not always heartily invited in Israel, however Boaz readily welcomed Ruth, since she had gained notoriety for giving grace and liberality to other people. Boaz was so dazzled with Ruth that he let her follow straightforwardly behind his harvesters to get the choicest grain that was dropped.

Ruth's previous activities were a report card by which others appraised about her. Her great reputation was her most significant resource. It came because of her persistent effort, her solid moral personage, and her affectability, generosity, and dedication to Naomi. A decent reputation is based upon God-respecting character and generosity toward others.

Ruth's life showed honorable characteristics: she was persevering, cherishing, kind, dedicated, and courageous. These characteristics acquired for her a good reputation, however simply because she showed them reliably in all aspects of her life. Any place Ruth went or whatever she did, her character continued as before.

Our reputation is shaped by individuals who watch us at work, around town, at home, or at church. A good reputation occurs by reliably demonstrating the characteristics that we have confidence in, regardless of the group of individuals or environmental factors that we are in.

 

She Sat, She Ate, She Rose

The characters in the book of Ruth are exemplary instances of good individuals in real life. Boaz went a long way past the plan of the gleaners' law in showing his graciousness and generosity. In addition to the fact that he let Ruth gather in his field, he additionally advised his laborers to let a portion of the grain fall deliberately in her way. Out of his plenitude, he accommodated the poor. How frequently do we go past the acknowledged examples of accommodating those less fortunate? We ought to accomplish more than what is required with regards to helping other people.

 

She Gleaned

Naomi had felt a bit bitter (1:20-21), however her confidence in God was as yet alive, and she praise God for Boaz's graciousness to Ruth. In her distresses, she actually confided in God and recognized God's integrity. We might have a harsh outlook on a circumstance; however, we should never surrender to despair about God's work in our lives. Today is consistently another chance for encountering God's consideration.

 

She Kept Fast

Although Ruth might not have consistently perceived God's direction in her life, he had been with her at all times. She went to gather and coincidentally ended up in the field possessed by Boaz who incidentally turned out to be a direct relation. This was something other than a simple coincident. As we approach our everyday assignments, God is working in our lives in manners that we may not take note of. We should not close the entryway on what God can do. For the Christian, situations do not “just happen” by karma or occurrence. We should have faith that God is coordinating our lives to fulfill his plans.

The Affliction of Naomi

Ruth 1:1-22, key verse 16

 

The book of Ruth shows how God used three people to achieve his purpose. These three people had character and were true to God. It also tells the story of how God’s grace was given during a challenging time. We can see that Naomi used her life as a witness for God and it touch others.

 

Verses 1-3:

The story of Ruth happens at some point during the time of the judges. These were dull days for Israel, when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6, 21:25). Regardless, during those dim and fiendish occasions, there were still some who followed God. Naomi and Ruth are an excellent image of reliability, fellowship, and responsibility, both to God and to one another.

Moab was the land east of the Dead Sea. It was one of the countries that persecuted Israel during the time of the judges (Judges 3:12). The famine must have been serious in Israel for Elimelech to move his family there. Regardless of whether Israel had effectively crushed Moab, there still would have been strains between them.

 

Verses 4-6:

Cordial relations with the Moabites were dissuaded (Deuteronomy 23:6) yet not illegal since the Moabites lived outside the Promised Land. Getting married to a Canaanite, nonetheless, was against God's law (Deuteronomy 7:1-4). Moabites were not permitted to come to the Tabernacle to worship, since they had not allowed the Israelites to go through their territory during the Exodus from Egypt (Deuteronomy 23:3-4).

 

Verses 7-9:

There was barely anything more terrible than being a widow in the old world. Widows were exploited or overlooked. They were quite often stricken with poverty. God's Law, subsequently, gave that the closest relative of the dead spouse, the requirement of caring for the widow; yet Naomi had no family members in Moab, and she could not say whether any of her family members were as yet alive in Israel.

Indeed, even in her frantic circumstance, Naomi had a magnanimous disposition. Despite the fact that she had chosen to go back to Israel, she urged Ruth and Orpah to remain in Moab and begin their lives once again, despite the fact that this would mean difficulty for herself. Like Naomi, we should think about the necessities of others and not only ourselves. As Naomi found out, when we act unselfishly, others are urged to follow our model.

 

Verses 10-14:

Naomi's remark here alludes to the levirate marriage, the commitment of a dead man's sibling to provide for his widow (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). This law kept the widow from poverty and gave a way to the family name of the dead spouse to proceed.

Naomi, nonetheless, had no other male children for Ruth or Orpah to wed, so she urged them to stay in their country and to remarry. Orpah concurred, which was her right. Yet, Ruth was prepared to surrender the chance of safety and kids to accompany and assist Naomi.

 

Verses 15-18:

Ruth was a Moabitess, yet that did not prevent her from revering the genuine God, nor did it prevent God from approving of her love and piling incredible gifts upon her. The Jews were by all account not the only individuals that God adored. God picked the Jews to be individuals through whom the remainder of the world would come to know him. This was satisfied when Jesus Christ was brought into the world as a Jew. Through him, the entire world can come to know God. Acts 10:35 says that "in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." God acknowledges all who love him. Regardless of race, sex, or ethnicity, God can and does work through all people. Ruth is an ideal illustration of God's fairness.

In spite of the fact that Ruth was from a nation that was frequently loathed by Israel, she was honored due to her unwaveringness. She turned into an extraordinary great-grandmother of King David and an immediate precursor of Jesus. Nobody should feel excluded to serve God in view of race, sex, or national origin. He can utilize each situation to further his Kingdom.

 

Verses 19-22:

Naomi had encountered extreme difficulties. She had left Israel wedded and secure; she returned bereft and poor. Naomi changed her name to communicate the harshness and torment that she felt. Naomi was not dismissing God by straightforwardly communicating her aggravation. In any case, she appears to have neglected to focus on the huge assets that she had in her relationship with Ruth and with God. (Job 6:4; Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)

At the point when we face unpleasant occasions, God invites our fair petitions, yet we are to be mindful so as not to disregard the adoration, strength, and assets that he gives in our current connections. Furthermore, do not permit harshness and frustration to frazzle us to the positive chances that could enter our lives. (James 4:8)

Since Israel's environment is very moderate, there are two harvest times every year, in the spring and in the fall. The harvest of barley occurred in the spring, and it was during this season of bounty and hope that Ruth and Naomi went back to Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a cultivating local area, and in light of the fact that it was the harvest time, there was a lot of extra grain in the fields.

Bethlehem is around five miles southwest of Jerusalem. The town was encircled by lavish fields and olive forests. Its harvests were bountiful. Naomi and Ruth's re-visitation of Bethlehem was absolutely essential for God's arrangement, for it is here where David was born (1 Samuel 16:1); and, as prophesied by the prophet Micah (Micah 5:2), Jesus Christ would likewise be brought into the world there. This move, at that point, was more than simply advantageous for Ruth and Naomi, it prompted the satisfaction of Scripture.

Microchip Vaccine Proof

https://churchleaders.com/news/413141-microchip-vaccine-proof.html

Just wanted to share this.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Punishing Rod Part 3

Habakkuk 3:1-13

Here Habakkuk’s prayer is like a psalm in which he is asking for God to remember mercy in his wrath as he revives his works. Habakkuk offers praise for the past deliverances of God when he brought salvation to his people and the wicked received judgment. Habakkuk gives his profession of faith. He trembled at what he heard but he still expressed his faith in God. And although trouble would come, he would still rejoice in the Lord’s provided strength.

This is faith glorying in assurance.

Habakkuk’s Prayer: 3:1-13

Habakkuk commended God for addressing his inquiries. The evil will not continually win; God is in charge, and he can be totally trusted to justify the individuals who are dedicated to him. We should discreetly sit tight for him to act (3:16).

Habakkuk realized that God planned to discipline Judah and that it was not going to be a charming encounter. In any case, he acknowledged God's will, requesting help and kindness. Habakkuk did not request to get away from the discipline yet acknowledged the truth that Judah needed to learn something with an example. God actually chastises his children, in love, so as to bring them back to him (Hebrews 12:5-6). We ought to acknowledge his discipline readily, and request that he assist us with transforming and growing.

In verses 3-16, Habakkuk paints the image of God conveying his people out of Egypt in the sensational Exodus (Exodus 14). God's magnificent power is not confined to making grand miracles; he additionally utilizes it to execute uprightness and equity. It is not sufficient to be awed by God's power. We really want discipline to figure out how to comply and live for him.

The failure of the crops and the death of the livestock would pulverize Judah. Yet, Habakkuk asserted that even in the midst of starvation, he would in any case celebrate in the Lord. Habakkuk's sentiments were not constrained by what was happening around him however, his conviction in God's ability invigorated him. When nothing seems right, and when inconveniences are beyond what we can bear, we should recall that God provides strength to us. We should remove our eyes from our hardships and look to God.

God will give his believers surefooted certainty through troublesome times. They will run like deer across the harsh and hazardous landscapes. At the appropriate time, God will bring justice and free the universe of all evil. Meanwhile, God's children need to live in the strength of his Spirit and be assured about his definitive triumph over evil.

Habakkuk had asked God for what good reason bad individuals thrive while the good ones suffer. God's response: they do not, not over the long haul. Habakkuk saw his own impediments rather than God's limitless control of the relative multitude of world's situations. God is alive and in charge of the world and its happenings. We cannot see all that God is doing, and we cannot see all that God will do. In any case, we can be guaranteed that he is God, and he will make the wisest decision. Knowing this gives us certainty and trust in a befuddling world.

The Punishing Rod Part 2

Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:20

Now the prophet asks a second question. How can God allow such a godless nation to be allowed to bring judgment upon His children? Granted Judah has been wicked, but how can God use another wicked nation to punish them? Although this is hard to understand, Habakkuk waits on the Lord.

 

Second question: 1:12-17

Judah's impending discipline would be on account of the Babylonians. Habakkuk was dismayed that God would utilize a country more insidious than Judah for Judah's discipline. However, the Babylonians did not realize that God was utilizing them to assist Judah with getting back to him, and Babylon's pride in its triumphs would be its downfall. Evil is pointless, and it is never outside God's ability to control. God might utilize whatever surprising instrument that he decides to address or rebuff us.

When we merit correction or discipline, how can we or why do we grumble and complain about what type of "ROD" that God utilizes on us?

 

This is faith grasping the solution.

Second answer: 2:1-20

The watchmen and the watchtower, frequently utilized by the prophets to show a mentality of assumption (Isaiah 21:8, 11; Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17), are images of Habakkuk's disposition of persistently sitting tight and looking for God's reaction. Stone lookouts were based on city walls or bulwarks so watchmen could see individuals (foes or couriers) moving toward their city while they were currently a way off. Watchtowers were additionally raised in grape plantations to assist with watching the maturing grapes. Habakkuk needed to be in the best situation to be able to receive a message from God.

This chapter records God's responses to Habakkuk's inquiries: How long would evil win (1:2-3)? For what reason was Babylon picked to rebuff Judah (1:13)? God said that the judgment, however lethargic, was certain to come about. Despite the fact that God utilized Babylon against Judah, he knew about Babylon's transgressions and that they would be punished in time.

Evil appears to have the high ground all over the world. Like Habakkuk, Christians frequently feel furious and debilitated as they see what continues. Habakkuk grumbled overwhelmingly to God about it. God's solution to him is the very response that he would provide for us, "Calm down! Things will work out as I want them to in my timing." It is not a straightforward process in being patient, however, it assists us with recollecting that God despises sin significantly more than we do. The discipline of wrongdoing will surely come. As God told Habakkuk, "Do not give up." To confide in God completely is to believe him although we are not sure why such situations happen as they do.

The insidious Babylonians confided in themselves and would fall, yet the righteous live on account of their faith and confidence in God. This verse has motivated innumerable Christians. Paul quotes it in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11. The author of Hebrews quotes it in 10:38, not long before the well-known chapter on faith. Also, it is useful to all Christians who should survive troublesome occasions without seeing the result. Christians should believe that God is coordinating everything as per his motivations.

Babylon was a proud nation, it confided in itself and its military strength, and lived to fulfill its own desires to the detriment of its prisoners. Nevertheless, these very sins would ascend to pass judgment upon it, and the hostages it violated would strip and insult Babylon. Justice would come gradually; however, it would come.

Babylon's wealth came from the setbacks of others, and this wealth would transform into useless remains in its grasp. The people in question and their urban areas would shout out against Babylon. Money in itself is not malicious, however, God censures the affection for wealth and all detestable methods for securing it (1 Timothy 6:10). We ought to be mindful so as not to crave for wealth in such a way that we lose our hunger for God. Try not to permit money to replace family, companions, or God.

Idolatry might appear to be a transgression that today’s modern individuals need not dread, yet idolatry is not simply doing homage (bowing down) to idols; it is confiding in what one has made, and consequently, in one's own power as maker and sustainer. Assuming that we say that we love God, but then we put our confidence in financial balances, homes, organizations, and associations, then we are idolators. Do we believe in God more than we trust what our hands have made?

Idols are not alive nor personhood, and they have no power, for they are vacant lumps of wood or stone. Sanctuaries built for idols are similarly void; for nobody lives there. Nevertheless, the Lord is in his Temple. He is a genuine individual, alive and amazing. He is genuinely and completely God. Idolaters order their deities to save them, yet we who love the living God come to him in quiet adoration, extraordinary regard, and veneration. We recognize that he is in charge and knows what he is doing. Idols stay quiet since they cannot reply. The living God, paradoxically, expresses through his Word. Approach God respectfully and stand by quietly to hear what he has to say.

The last thing to point out is that there are five “woes” that are a warning.

Habakkuk 2:6, “Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his,” to those who would try to possess with the lust of conquest and plunder.

Habakkuk 2:9, “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house,” to those who would try to build an empire with cruelty and godlessness.

Habakkuk 2:12, “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood,” to those who would try to build cities by the shedding of innocent blood.

Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor to drink,” to those who would try to use cruel treatment of those conquered.

Habakkuk 2:19, “Woe unto him that saith to the wood, awake; to the dumb stone, arise,” to those who would try to worship things that do not breathe, idolatry.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Punishing Rod Part 1

 A Study of the Book of Habakkuk

Habakkuk 1:1-11

Part One

At the point when Habakkuk was disturbed, he brought his interests straightforwardly to God. In the wake of accepting God's responses, he then, at that point, reacted with a supplication of faith. Habakkuk's model is one that ought to support us as we battle to move from uncertainty to faith. We do not need to be hesitant to pose inquiries of God. The issue is not with God's methodologies; however, it is with our restricted comprehension of him.

 

This is faith grappling with a problem.

First question: 1:1-4

Habakkuk lived in Judah during the rule of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36-24:5). He had prophesied between the fall of Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) in 612 B.C. and Judah’s invasion in 589 B.C. With Assyria in confusion, Babylon was turning into the predominant politically influential nation. This book records the exchange with God concerning the inquiries, "For what reason does God regularly appear to be apathetic with the evil that is happening? And for what reason do the those that are evil appeared to go unpunished? While other prophetic books carried God's Word to the individuals, this book carried the individuals' inquiries to God.

Habakkuk was disheartened and distraught by the defilement and corruption that he saw around him. Accordingly, he spilled his guts out to God, in other words, Habakkuk cried out. Today bad the rampant injustice is as yet uncontrolled, but we ought not allow our anxiety to make us question God or go against him. All things being equal, we ought to consider the message that God provided for Habakkuk and perceive God's long-range big picture of his plans. We ought to understand that what God is doing is correct, regardless of whether we comprehend the reason why he functions as he does.

 

First answer: 1:5-11

God reacts to Habakkuk's various forms of feedback by expressing that he will yet do staggering demonstrations that will extol himself. At the point when conditions around us become practically terrible, we keep thinking about whether God has failed to remember us. Yet, recall, that he is in charge. God has an arrangement and will pass judgment on criminals in his time. Assuming we are really modest, we will actually want to acknowledge his responses and anticipate his planning.

God told the occupants of Jerusalem that they would be shocked at what he was going to do. Individuals would see a progression of unimaginable occasions. First of all, their own autonomous and prosperous realm, Judah, would become a vassal country. Furthermore, Egypt, a country that had been a politically influential nation for quite a long time, would be squashed practically overnight. Thirdly, Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, would be totally scoured that the individuals would fail to remember where it had been. Then finally, the Chaldeans (Babylonians) would ascend into control. However, these words were without a doubt dumbfounding, and the people saw them come to fruition during their lifetime.

The Chaldeans (Babylonians), who lived northwest of the Persian Gulf, made a quick ascent to controlling the known world around 630 B.C. They started to champion themselves against the Assyrian Empire, and by 605 B.C. They had vanquished Assyria to turn into the most grounded force to be reckoned with. Yet, they were just about as underhanded and wicked as the Assyrians, for they wanted to gather hostages (1:9), they were pleased with their fighting strategies (1:10), and they confided in their godlike objects and military strength (1:11).

Babylon was glad for its military might, its procedures, its armed forces, and its weapons. Without really considering humankind, the armed forces got back wealth, goods, slaves, and recognition from the countries that they looted. Such is the embodiment of worshipful admiration, asking the divine beings that we make to assist us with getting all that we need. The substance of Christianity is asking the God who made all of us, to assist us with giving everything that we can in support of him. The objective of excessive admiration is self-wonder, the point of Christianity is God's greatness.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Questions Answered from the Bible

Praises to the Lord! My new book is finally available on Amazon.


Although I may not have the opportunity to be in a physical church pulpit somewhere, I guess that you could say that the Lord is utilizing the internet and the written book to be the pulpit that I must serve in.

God does not ask for our ability but our availability. He will give us the tools that we will need in order to serve him when and where he chooses.


Questions Answered from the Bible: Volume 1 - Kindle edition by Swanson, Rev. Chris. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Chris Swanson - Author, Christianity.com

Rev. Chris Swanson Profile - Learn about Rev. Chris Swanson, view sermon resources shared by Rev. Chris Swanson - SermonCentral.com


I am working on another sermon book and I pray that it will be available by the summer of 2022.



Friday, December 17, 2021

Silent Night

Sadly the young pastor strolled through the snow-covered slopes above the village of Oberndof, Austria. In a few days, it would be Christmas Eve, but Josef Mohr knew there would be no music in his church to herald the great event. The new organ had broken down.

Pausing, Pastor Mohr gazed at the scattered lights in the village below. The sight of the peaceful town huddled warmly in the foothills, stirred his imagination. Surely it was on such a clear and quiet night as this that hosts of angels sang out the glorious news that the Savior had been born.

The young cleric sighed heavily as he thought, "If only we here in Oberndof could celebrate the birth of Jesus with glorious music like the shepherds heard on that wonderful night!"

Standing there, his mind filled with visions of the first Christmas, Josef Mohr suddenly became aware that the disappointment was fading from his heart; in its place surged a great joy. Vividly, he saw the manger, carved from a mountainside; he saw Mary and Joseph and the Child; he saw the strangers who had been attracted by the light of the great star. The image seemed to shape itself into the words of a poem.

The next day he showed the poem to Franz Gruber, the church organist, who said, "These words should be sung at Christmas. But what could we use for accompaniment? This?" Glumly, he held up his guitar.

The pastor replied, "Like Mary and Joseph in the stable, we must be content with what God provides us."

Franz Gruber studied the poem, then softly strummed the melody that came to him. Next, he put the words to the melody and sang them. When he finished, his soul was ablaze with its beauty. 

On Christmas Eve, 1818, in a small Austrian village, the Oberndof choir, accompanied only by a guitar, sang for the first time the immortal hymn that begins, "Silent Night...Holy Night."

by Glenn D. Kittler


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Messiah

The composer was in despair. Struggling to earn a living in London, he knew days when he could not afford to buy meals. One night in 1741, depressed and defeated, he wandered the lonely streets; it was almost dawn when he returned to his shabby room. On a table was a thick envelope. It was from Charles Jennens, the man who wrote his librettos. Examining the pages, he found them covered with Scripture texts.

Wearily, he tossed the pages aside and crawled into bed. But he could not sleep. The words he had read returned to him:

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God...The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light...For unto us a Child is born...Glory to God in the highest...Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Too stirred to sleep, he got up and went to his piano. The music flowed from his heart - rich, majestic, triumphant. He began to write. Night and day for three weeks, he wrote feverishly. He forgot sleep, food, and rest. He refused to see anyone. At last, on the day the work was finished, one friend managed to gain entrance.

The composer was at his piano, sheets of music strewn around him, tears streaming down his face. "I do believe I have seen all of Heaven before me, and the great God Himself," he exclaimed.

Millions of people have been able to believe that. The first audience to hear the composition - in Dublin 1742 - gave it the greatest ovation in the city's history. Weeks later, London heard it for the first time, and again it was a triumph. The King was so impressed during the Hallelujah Chorus that he rose to his feet - a custom that still prevails.

This Christmas, in churches and concerts halls around the world, millions of people will once again find hope and faith in the message of what has become the most beloved composition of all times - George Frederic Handel's Messiah.

by George D. Kittler

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

What Fruit do I Bear?

Matthew 7:15-20/Luke 6:43-45

 

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus teaches about fruit in people’s lives.

False prophets were recurrent in Old Testament times. They forecasted just what the king and the local people wanted to hear, asserting that it was God's message. False teachers are similarly as frequent today. Jesus says to be careful with those whose words sound religious however who are inspired by popularity, power, or prestige. We can tell who they are on the grounds that in their instructing they limit Christ and laud themselves.

Deuteronomy 13:1-4, If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Jeremiah 23:16, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

Acts 20:29, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

2 Peter 2:1, But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1 John 4:1, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

So, if a tree is known by its fruit, how do you know one piece of fruit from the other? We are taught from an early age what each fruit looks like, how it tastes, how it smells, and what is used for. When you consider fruit, you likely consider something sweet and delicious to eat. Apples, berries, and oranges are all fruit. In any case, researchers consider fruit a piece of a plant that contains seeds. The fruit probably will not be sweet. Indeed, it probably will not be edible by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, it is a fruit.

Fruit is generally delicate and succulent, however not always. Some of the time it is covered by a hard, defensive shell. Consider a watermelon, for example. It is delicate and delicious within; however, the outside is intense. Some fruit may be bitter, and some fruit may be sour.

Some of the fruit characteristics could be considered characteristics of a Christian. Does the Christian have a fruitful appearance? If so, that Christian may be spiritual on the inside; or the Christian may be spiritually barren?

1 Thessalonians 5:22, Abstain from all appearance of evil.

We ought to assess the teachers' words by analyzing their lives. Similarly, as trees are predictable in the sort of fruit they produce, good teachers reliably show appropriate conduct and high moral fiber (character) as they endeavor to experience the certainties and truths of the Scripture. This does not mean we ought to have witch hunts, toss out Sunday teachers, ministers, and other people who are not exactly great, or less than perfect. None of us mere humans are perfect. All of us are liable to sin, and we should show the very kindness and mercy to others that we need for ourselves. When Jesus discusses degenerate and corrupt trees, he implies teachers who are intentionally teaching false doctrine. We should look at the teachers’ thought processes, their motives, which way they are taking, and the outcomes they are looking for.

Matthew 12:33, Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Luke 6:43-49, For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Real fruit versus fake fruit. Fake fruit looks good, but it has no substance. How do we know good fruit? By the actions, the words, the ministry, and the lifestyle. You can clean a car but if the spark plug is not correct, the car will not work. We are not to judge but to examine life.

People watch us every day. Does God get the glory or do we?

When the fruit has been plucked from the tree, it begins to die. The fruit must stay connected to the tree so that it can get its nutrients from the tree. As such, we must be connected to Christ, if we are not, we slowly begin to die spiritually. If the tree is not growing, it is not productive, therefore it is not bearing fruit. If the tree is not productive and produces fruit, then the tree is not growing.

Romans 8:5-8, For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So, then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

We must stay prayed up and studied up or we will grow cold and indifferent to God’s Word. If not, our spiritual fruit will begin to rot as natural fruit lying on the ground or on the countertop. Has anyone seen a banana going bad, or any piece of fruit for that matter? That piece of fruit is dying. It is decaying.

Is our Christian life like a piece of fruit that is going bad?

 

 

Cancel Culture

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