After the readings of the last few days, today's lessons are "A Breath of Fresh Air!"
In the last half of the book of Judges, it seemed that God’s Church was closed. The last judges had a twisted sense of right and wrong. The appendices (Judges 17-21) show the depravity of the people.
But today’s reading and tomorrow’s is a breath of fresh air! The LORD is able to preserve his Church even in the midst of a wicked world. Enjoy reading Ruth 1-4. As you do, notice two important themes:
- The Guardian Redeemer was a person’s closest relative. This can give you insight into Job’s statement, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25-27) Our Savior is our closest relative.
- The frequent use of the LORD’s name. Remember that this is the name of our Savior God. Naomi recognizes that he brought bitterness (Marah) into her life, but also that he blessed her with great joy. (Naomi means "sweetness" or "pleasantness.") In our afflictions, let us continue to call out to the LORD, our Savior God, to grant us sweetness even in the midst of bitterness.
Our New Testament lesson resumes our reading of Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14:1-20). He and Barnabas travel through the middle of what is today the country of Turkey. Notice what Paul was willing to suffer because he was a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. He would not and could not change his testimony. Every day as I read the Bible, I am on a journey back to the Empty Tomb. If Jesus has risen, then we have a Savior who can turn bitterness into sweetness.