Reading #1 – Ruth 4
Reading #2 – Psalms 24
Reading #3 – Proverbs 31
Reading #4 – Isaiah 1
Reading #5 – 2 King 4
Ruth 4 – Boaz Marries Ruth. So Boaz met with the kinsman-redeemer just as he said he would. According to Mosaic law, when there is no direct family left except for the woman, the woman acquires the land (Numbers 27:1-7). The land must remain in the family and only a kinsman-redeemer can take the land but must bear children in the name of the deceased male. This law was enacted after Zelophad’s daughters approached Moses, Joshua, the elders, and Eleazar the priest. The nearest kinsman would have purchased the property had it not been for Ruth. “Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it (6).” The man then took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz which was a legal transaction at that time. From Boaz and Ruth, it was two generations until the time of David King of Israel.
2 Kings 3 – Elisha Helps the Poor. When the poor widow came to Elisha and Gehazi, she asked for help with the mess she was in. Her husband had been a devout man of G_d all of his days yet, after his passing, the woman became destitute. Instead of taking up a collection, he asked her “what do you have in your home”? And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing (3-6). Next, she was told to sell the olive oil to pay her debts off (7). The over-arching point here is that the funds did not come from someone else, it came from her home. Sometimes, we have to put our skills to work for them to produce anything. The Shunammite woman who opened her home to Elisha and Gehazi asked for nothing, demanded nothing, simply opened the door for the prophet so that he would have a place to stay. Elisha promised her a son to hold and she was dumbfounded. But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year, she had a son, just as Elisha had said (16-17). Of course, just as the Lord gives, sometimes it is taken away from us as all praise to the Lord G_d (Job 1:21). During the famine, the Lord G_d was still at work so the people had to trust Him.
Psalms 24 – The King of Glory. The first and most important part of life that we must understand is, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths (1-2). Being he built the universe, he alone knows how to fix what is broken. The 2nd most important thing is that “being he made it, he can take it away at any time”. The 3rd most important part is that He alone deserves the praise, not the discredit. The Lord did not make a “broken world”, He took a broken world and made it whole just as he does for all who hold his hand and never walk away even in the darkest or brightest days of their lives. Our job is to walk in obedience to Him even when we cannot see Him or think that our world is falling apart (3-6). So let the King of Glory enter your hearts by opening the doors that you have closed for so long. Many people, including me, have opened a few doors in our lives but closed others so that we would not be embarrassed by the condition of our life. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies— he is the King of glory (9-10).
Proverbs 31 – Preparing for Kingship. As king or lord, some things must be understood. First, you are responsible for what goes on in your life. The world will tell you, “you deserve ______”. It is up to you to decide which course you will take (1-3). Second, whatever choice you make, you must be willing to face the consequences for the better or the worse. Third, you cannot make the world comply with the course your parents set (4-7). Fourth, speak up for those who are unable to speak or have no voice; see that they get justice (8-9). The description of the mother in the following verses speaks to the work she went through for the family. Because we fail, doesn’t mean that “she was a failure”; rather, it means that we have not honored her with our life (10-31). The wise mother asks for nothing from us other than to use our lives productively and in G_dly sincerity walk before him (Micah 6:6-8).
Isaiah 1 – The Visions of Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet during the days of Uzziah to Hezekiah kings of Judah (1). During Uzziah’s reign, the nation was in upheaval. During those years, the nation continued with its “religious practices” sort of like what the Pharisees and Sadducees were doing during the time of Jesus. Even today, we have our religious practices of carrying a Bible, wearing crosses, and saying “Praise the Lord” yet live different from our practices. When our world comes crashing in around us, we may ask of G_d “didn’t do all the right things?” Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.”
Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.” “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony (10-12)? What we must always understand is that everything belongs to Him, not us (Psalms 24:1). In our broken estate, He can heal us and it all begins with “Repentance” leading to fruit in keeping with our words (Luke 3:7-8). “Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken (18-20)!”