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bible reading aug 10



Bible reading for Aug 10. 

Ruth 3-4.

"And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, 'May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!' Naomi also said to her, 'The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.'" (Ruth 2:20)

RUTH'S PROPOSAL. Naomi and Ruth discover that Boaz is a close relative, also called a "kinsman-redeemer" [Heb., go'el](2:20; 3:2, 12; 4:14; cf Deut 25:5-10). This kinsman had the responsibility to preserve not only the land but also the lineage of those relatives in need, in debt, or without living heirs. It was a family responsibility, but in this story it becomes a romance. Ruth "proposes" to Boaz, seeking his protection, and there is a tender connection between the two. This romance of Ruth might be better entitled, "the romance of redemption", for the strength of the redeemer provides security for the redeemed, where love can blossom. This is so plainly a picture of our redemption -- we who are poor and vulnerable -- by our strong Kinsman-redeemer, Jesus Christ, who brings us into a loving, covenant relationship with himself.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER. It's a true story, but with a particularly Jewish fairy tale ending: the mother-in-law has a devoted daughter-in-law, a rich son-in-law, a grandson on her lap, and a home in her old age. Ruth is now married to a man of faith who provides love and security. And Boaz, the older Jewish bachelor now has a beautiful young wife and son. (What's not to like about all that?) Their child, named Obed, will become the grandfather of David the King. Ruth the Moabite, once an outcast like Rahab the Canaanite, will be ingrafted not only into the family of Israel but into the lineage of the Messiah himself.  And that's the rest of the story! After the book of Judges, the book of Ruth shines a light on the most amazing grace of God. 

==============  

Acts 28.

"And so we came to Rome." (Acts 28:14) 

ARRIVAL. The history of Acts closes with Paul under house arrest in Rome, but with freedom to receive visitors, to teach, and to write: "He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance" (vv 30-31). During this time (c. AD 60--62) he will write Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. After that, church history records that Paul would be released for a couple of years, then re-arrested and martyred sometime during Emperor Nero's persecution of Christians, AD 64--68. We see how the gospel divides (vv 22, 24). Paul likens his ministry to the Jews to that of Isaiah (Isa 6:9-10).  A new birth is needed to open eyes closed to the glory of God in Christ (2 Cor 4:6).  

REFLECT. The outline of the book of Acts -- seen in Acts 1:8 -- has been fulfilled: from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and to the remotest part of the earth, or in this case, to Rome. The Good News has traveled westward from the Middle East, across seas and cultures, to the heart of the Roman empire. But...there's more to go! One of the questions we should ponder is, what is my role and your role in the continuing movement of the gospel around the world? What nations and peoples still need to be reached? 
       

Image credits. Painting, "Noon, Rest From Work" by van Gogh.  
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The NET Bible is a free, online resource, and a ministry of bible.org.

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