April - Reading 25

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Tonight we finished the story of Ruth. Boaz meets with the unnamed kinsman and tells him of Naomi's dilemna. There are a few possible explanations for why Naomi needed help with her property: 1) She may have owned the land but was so impoverishhed that she needed to sell it to make ends meet; 2) It may have been that her husband had sold the property but now the seven year cycle had come to an end and she as a widow had redemptive rights to it as we learned in Leviticus. Either way, it is when the kinsman learns of Ruth being in the bargain that he backs out. The deal being made in front of witnesses and that ceremony of the removed sandal show that Boaz now has full rights to Ruth and the two wed.

    The Book ends with Ruth and Boaz having a baby and the lineage shows that Ruth is an ancestor of David, and eventually Christ. In true literary balance, just as the Book began with Naomi's emptiness, it ends with her fulfillment. The end to a Book that looks into the personal lives of a family in the time when "Israel had no king, and people did as they saw fit." Great Book!

    We also finished the Book of 1Corinthians. Paul addresses one final question, that being of money collection. Despite Paul's harshness towards the church at Corinth, he ends the letter with warm salutations and encouragement. The "signature" (v. 21) shows the authenticity of the document.

    In Mark, Jesus telling His disciples that "this type" of demon requires prayer for exorcism leads one to believe that there are various types of demons. It may be more probable that the disciples had forgotten whence came the power that had been bestowed upon them to cast out the demons. Christ also makes it a point to show that the power to heal the boy comes from Him, but the necessary element is the father's belief.

    If you have kept up in your reading, tonight marks a full 1/3 of the Bible read! Well done!

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    Clint,

    Thank you so much for keeping up with this!

    Psalm 94 is remarkable in several ways.

    It starts begging God to do something about the evil men. They seem so happy, and God is the one to strike. Won't He PLEASE do it now?

    How often we have wondered the same thing!

    Look at the Psalmist's description of the wicked:

    They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
    They crush your people, O Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
    They slay the widow and the alien;
    they murder the fatherless.
    They say, 'The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob pays no heed.'


    We see all the same things today, and some right here on the Baptist Board! A quick perusal of both the creation/evolution board and the general discussions board show arrogant words and much boasting -- fully intended to crush God's people. On the political front we see the same thing. Believe anything you want and the liberals are perfectly happy -- as long as you are not one of those weird and dangerous "fundamentalist" Christians who actually are crazy enough to think the Bible means what it says!

    The part about slaying the widow, orphan, and alien is something we see all around the world -- including our own country. Sometimes it is very subtle: deny care to the 'wetback' alien who is sick; let the tiny malformed infant in the nursery die since her parents don't want her anyway; and the widow? How many simply expect her to keep working and supporting herself or just go on state aid?

    A lot of the murder is the physical, active slaying of people by other people. But some of it is a lot more subtle.

    In the general discussion area here we can see the attitude of "God doesn't see -- and that's IF He really exists!"

    ... just like the Psalmist says.

    And then the Psalmist turns his attention to these very people who are so wicked in their rebellion against the truth:

    Take heed, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
    Does he who implanted the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
    Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?
    The Lord knows the thoughts of man;
    he knows that they are futile.


    In addition to talking to the very people he was just describing, the Psalmist here brings up something that has to do with the very argument that has come down through the ages regarding the very existence of God.

    Time and chance did not result in the ear, the eye, discipline, or even knowledge. These are the direct work of God, as the Psalmist reminds the reader. In talking about discipline and teaching, we are reminded that God is not far off, but intimately involved in our daily lives. He not only created us, He cares for us and works with us.

    And man's thoughts to the contrary, or trying to figure it all out for himself, are futile. It's God or nothing.

    In light of that, the next line is

    Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord;
    the man you teach from your law;
    you grant his relief from days of trouble,
    till a it is dug for the wicked.


    The first two lines surely were in the mind of the writer to the Hebrews when he penned the quote from Proverbs in Heb. 12:5-6 --

    My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
    because the Lord disciplines those he loves
    and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.


    Back to Psalm 94, verse 14 starts with the reassurance that the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.
    Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.


    To my mind, this is a direct reference to the coming Millennium. Israel is the inheritance of the Lord, and here, as in so many passages in the prophets, the Lord declares that He is disciplining Israel but will not forsake her.
    The verse about judgment AGAIN being founded on righteousness looks both backward and forward. When was it founded on righteousness before? Righteousness through the law was offered Israel when the theocracy was established. But, as Paul says in Romans 7:10-12 --
    I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.

    And there will, the Psalmist says, come a time when judgment will again be founded on righteousness. The comment about all the upright in heart following it indicates that there will be those NOT upright in heart at that time. So that knocks out heaven! In the meantime, if judgment will be founded on righteousness, and all righteousness is found in Christ, then we are looking forward to a reign of His here on earth during this creation, for in the new creation there will be no more sin.

    The Psalmist then gets personal about himself:

    Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
    Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
    When I said, 'My foot is slipping,"
    your love, O Lord, supported me.
    When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought joy to my soul.


    Something interesting here, which I see a number of times in the Bible, is the refusal/inability of the person who follows the Lord to defend himself. No judo, no guns, no political maneuvering -- no self-defense at all! The author is relying entirely on God for support and defense. And the results of that trust brought him great joy. He was not only defended and supported by God, but given the joy of knowing that God was there for him as well.

    This is why Jesus said heaven starts in the heart. In John 17:3 He said that eternal life was knowing the Father and the Son. When one trusts in God through the hard times, and the times when one is under attack, then one learns more about God's character and love, and the personal relationship with God is deepened and strengthened. This, then, is the beginning of heaven! Just when we think things are horrid, we are invited into a bit more of heaven.

    I'm afraid I see something not too popular in the last four verses of this Psalm. I see a direct condemnation of the Roman Catholic church that was to come:

    Can a corrupt throne be allied with you --
    the pope sits on the 'throne of Peter.'

    one that brings on misery by its decrees?
    celibacy, the Inquisitions, etc. etc.

    They band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
    Rome has a history of being totally intolerant of those who read the Bible for themselves and have a personal relationship with God through Christ. Although there has been a lessening of that attitude in our generation, its reaching out to pagan religions in the name of peace is accomplishing the same thing.

    But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
    God HImself, not Peter, is the Rock of our refuge and strength.

    He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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