Reality is...

Just looking at this, its hard to believe that it is just a drawing!  It looks so real!!!  Human perception is faulty, however, as the varying testimony of any group of witnesses to a crime reveals.  There are religious groups out there that even say that our entire existence is a mere illusion; something manufactured by our over-developed brains.  Others say that pain is also an illusion and all emotion, such as love or hate is of no concern, whatsoever!!! Today, we find it almost common to hear people say that spiritual things are but a product of our over-active imagination and that God definitely does NOT EXIST.  To all these groups I say- nuts!!!  How can a person ignore love, hate, pain or the spiritual things in life?  Are we simply a composite of what we can see or feel or mentally comprehend???  If so, then people today are better human beings than a hundred or a thousand years ago because even a mere high school graduate knows so much more that an equivalent aged person of long ago.  There is more to life than what can be seen or understood. Paul puts it this way...

Ephesians, Chapter 6
 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;  16 above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one.  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News,...

 Reality is comprised of both that which we can know and that which we cannot.  I wonder, how many of us can explain how to build an atomic bomb or how we even produce electricity for that matter.  Even understanding exactly how our automobiles work today is beyond most of us, due to the electronics they contain.  What is real is life and that is given by God.  Live it to the fullest and bless HIM who gave it to us.  If that isn't plain enough, perhaps I could try to draw a picture to make it seem real to you?  Well, I could try, anyway!!!  How do you feel about stick figures????

Bible Reading, Nov. 30

Nov. 30
Ezekiel 13-16

Eze 13:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 13:2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say you to those who prophesy out of their own heart, Hear you the word of Yahweh:
Eze 13:3 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
Eze 13:4 Israel, your prophets have been like foxes in the waste places.
Eze 13:5 You have not gone up into the gaps, neither built up the wall for the house of Israel, to stand in the battle in the day of Yahweh.
Eze 13:6 They have seen falsehood and lying divination, who say, Yahweh says; but Yahweh has not sent them: and they have made men to hope that the word would be confirmed.
Eze 13:7 Haven't you seen a false vision, and haven't you spoken a lying divination, in that you say, Yahweh says; but I have not spoken?
Eze 13:8 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have spoken falsehood, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 13:9 My hand shall be against the prophets who see false visions, and who divine lies: they shall not be in the council of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one builds up a wall, behold, they daub it with whitewash:
Eze 13:11 tell those who daub it with whitewash, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it.
Eze 13:12 Behold, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said to you, Where is the daubing with which you have daubed it?
Eze 13:13 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will even tear it with a stormy wind in my wrath; and there shall be an overflowing shower in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to consume it.
Eze 13:14 So will I break down the wall that you have daubed with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation shall be uncovered; and it shall fall, and you shall be consumed in its midst: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 13:15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath on the wall, and on those who have daubed it with whitewash; and I will tell you, The wall is no more, neither those who daubed it;
Eze 13:16 to wit, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 13:17 You, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy you against them,
Eze 13:18 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the women who sew pillows on all elbows, and make kerchiefs for the head of persons of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and save souls alive for yourselves?
Eze 13:19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to kill the souls who should not die, and to save the souls alive who should not live, by your lying to my people who listen to lies.
Eze 13:20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against your pillows, with which you there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let the souls go, even the souls who you hunt to make them fly.
Eze 13:21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 13:22 Because with lies you have grieved the heart of the righteous, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, and be saved alive:
Eze 13:23 Therefore you shall no more see false visions, nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

Eze 14:1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me, and sat before me.
Eze 14:2 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 14:3 Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?
Eze 14:4 Therefore speak to them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I Yahweh will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols;
Eze 14:5 that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
Eze 14:6 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Return you, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Eze 14:7 For everyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, and takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet to inquire for himself of me; I Yahweh will answer him by myself:
Eze 14:8 and I will set my face against that man, and will make him an astonishment, for a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 14:9 If the prophet be deceived and speak a word, I, Yahweh, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand on him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10 They shall bear their iniquity: the iniquity of the prophet shall be even as the iniquity of him who seeks to him;
Eze 14:11 that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither defile themselves any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 14:12 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 14:13 Son of man, when a land sins against me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and cut off from it man and animal;
Eze 14:14 though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 14:15 If I cause evil animals to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the animals;
Eze 14:16 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only should be delivered, but the land should be desolate.
Eze 14:17 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off from it man and animal;
Eze 14:18 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only should be delivered themselves.
Eze 14:19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and animal;
Eze 14:20 though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
Eze 14:21 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: How much more when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the evil animals, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and animal!
Eze 14:22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be carried forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth to you, and you shall see their way and their doings; and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it.
Eze 14:23 They shall comfort you, when you see their way and their doings; and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord Yahweh.

Eze 15:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 15:2 Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, the vine-branch which is among the trees of the forest?
Eze 15:3 Shall wood be taken of it to make any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
Eze 15:4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire has devoured both its ends, and its midst is burned: is it profitable for any work?
Eze 15:5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less, when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned, shall it yet be meet for any work!
Eze 15:6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Eze 15:7 I will set my face against them; they shall go forth from the fire, but the fire shall devour them; and you shall know that I am Yahweh, when I set my face against them.
Eze 15:8 I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, says the Lord Yahweh.

Eze 16:1 Again the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations;
Eze 16:3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Jerusalem: Your birth and your birth is of the land of the Canaanite; the Amorite was your father, and your mother was a Hittite.
Eze 16:4 As for your birth, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to cleanse you; you weren't salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
Eze 16:5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, for that your person was abhorred, in the day that you were born.
Eze 16:6 When I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live; yes, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live.
Eze 16:7 I caused you to multiply as that which grows in the field, and you increased and grew great, and you attained to excellent ornament; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown; yet you were naked and bare.
Eze 16:8 Now when I passed by you, and looked at you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord Yahweh, and you became mine.
Eze 16:9 Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil.
Eze 16:10 I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with sealskin, and I girded you about with fine linen, and covered you with silk.
Eze 16:11 I decked you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck.
Eze 16:12 I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.
Eze 16:13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your clothing was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work; you ate fine flour, and honey, and oil; and you were exceeding beautiful, and you prospered to royal estate.
Eze 16:14 Your renown went forth among the nations for your beauty; for it was perfect, through my majesty which I had put on you, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 16:15 But you did trust in your beauty, and played the prostitute because of your renown, and poured out your prostitution on everyone who passed by; his it was.
Eze 16:16 You took of your garments, and made for yourselves high places decked with various colors, and played the prostitute on them: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.
Eze 16:17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and played the prostitute with them;
Eze 16:18 and you took your embroidered garments, and covered them, and did set my oil and my incense before them.
Eze 16:19 My bread also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you did even set it before them for a pleasant aroma; and thus it was, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 16:20 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me, and these have you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your prostitution a small matter,
Eze 16:21 that you have slain my children, and delivered them up, in causing them to pass through the fire to them?
Eze 16:22 In all your abominations and your prostitution you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, and was weltering in your blood.
Eze 16:23 It is happen after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord Yahweh),
Eze 16:24 that you have built to you a vaulted place, and have made you a lofty place in every street.
Eze 16:25 You have built your lofty place at the head of every way, and have made your beauty an abomination, and have opened your feet to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your prostitution.
Eze 16:26 You have also committed sexual immorality with the Egyptians, your neighbors, great of flesh; and have multiplied your prostitution, to provoke me to anger.
Eze 16:27 See therefore, I have stretched out my hand over you, and have diminished your ordinary food, and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way.
Eze 16:28 You have played the prostitute also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; yes, you have played the prostitute with them, and yet you weren't satisfied.
Eze 16:29 You have moreover multiplied your prostitution to the land of merchants, to Chaldea; and yet you weren't satisfied with this.
Eze 16:30 How weak is your heart, says the Lord Yahweh, seeing you do all these things, the work of an impudent prostitute;
Eze 16:31 in that you build your vaulted place at the head of every way, and make your lofty place in every street, and have not been as a prostitute, in that you scorn pay.
Eze 16:32 A wife who commits adultery! who takes strangers instead of her husband!
Eze 16:33 They give gifts to all prostitutes; but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and bribe them, that they may come to you on every side for your prostitution.
Eze 16:34 You are different from other women in your prostitution, in that none follows you to play the prostitute; and whereas you give hire, and no hire is given to you, therefore you are different.
Eze 16:35 Therefore, prostitute, hear the word of Yahweh:
Eze 16:36 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because your filthiness was poured out, and your nakedness uncovered through your prostitution with your lovers; and because of all the idols of your abominations, and for the blood of your children, that you gave to them;
Eze 16:37 therefore see, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those who you have loved, with all those who you have hated; I will even gather them against you on every side, and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness.
Eze 16:38 I will judge you, as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.
Eze 16:39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your vaulted place, and break down your lofty places; and they shall strip you of your clothes, and take your beautiful jewels; and they shall leave you naked and bare.
Eze 16:40 They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones, and thrust you through with their swords.
Eze 16:41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will cause you to cease from playing the prostitute, and you shall also give no hire any more.
Eze 16:42 So will I cause my wrath toward you to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
Eze 16:43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have raged against me in all these things; therefore, behold, I also will bring your way on your head, says the Lord Yahweh: and you shall not commit this lewdness with all your abominations.
Eze 16:44 Behold, everyone who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.
Eze 16:45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathes her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite.
Eze 16:46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells at your left hand, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.
Eze 16:47 Yet have you not walked in their ways, nor done after their abominations; but, as if that were a very little thing, you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.
Eze 16:48 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters.
Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
Eze 16:50 They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Eze 16:51 Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all your abominations which you have done.
Eze 16:52 You also, bear you your own shame, in that you have given judgment for your sisters; through your sins that you have committed more abominable than they, they are more righteous that you: yes, be also confounded, and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters.
Eze 16:53 I will turn again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the captivity of your captives in the midst of them;
Eze 16:54 that you may bear your own shame, and may be ashamed because of all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them.
Eze 16:55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate; and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate.
Eze 16:56 For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride,
Eze 16:57 before your wickedness was uncovered, as at the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all who are around her, the daughters of the Philistines, who do despite to you all around.
Eze 16:58 You have borne your lewdness and your abominations, says Yahweh.
Eze 16:59 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant.
Eze 16:60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish to you an everlasting covenant.
Eze 16:61 Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed, when you shall receive your sisters, your elder sisters and your younger; and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant.
Eze 16:62 I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh;
Eze 16:63 that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Yahweh.

Nov. 30
James 3

Jas 3:1 Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.
Jas 3:2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn't stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.
Jas 3:3 Indeed, we put bits into the horses' mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body.
Jas 3:4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires.
Jas 3:5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and thing in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
Jas 3:8 But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Jas 3:11 Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water?
Jas 3:12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.
Jas 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic.
Jas 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Ruth: She bore a son, 4:1-22, Mark Copeland

                           "THE BOOK OF RUTH"

             Ruth's Marital Joy:  "She Bore A Son" (4:1-22)


1. Our brief survey of the book of Ruth has thus far revealed...
   a. Ruth's noble choice:  "I will go..." - Ru 1:1-22
      1) Expressing great love for her mother-in-law, Naomi
      2) Willing to forego home and religion, and adopt Israel and the
         true God
   b. Ruth's lowly service:  "Let me glean..." - Ru 2:1-23
      1) Exercising her right as a widow to glean after the reapers
         during the harvest
      2) Providing sustenance for herself and her mother-in-law
   c. Ruth's tender plea:  "Take your maidservant..." - Ru 3:1-18
      1) Made to Boaz, a near kinsman
      2) As part of a careful plan proposed by her mother-in-law, Naomi

2. Noteworthy throughout this story has been the character of Boaz...
   a. A kind man, with a strong sense of propriety
   b. A hospitable man, with a concern for duty and reputation
   c. A man Naomi knew "will not rest until he has concluded the matter
      this day" - Ru 3:18

3  As we come to the fourth and final chapter...
   a. We see how Boaz fulfills "Ruth's marital joy"
   b. Resulting in the birth of a son who became David's grandfather

[As the chapter opens, Boaz begins the process promised to Ruth earlier
(cf. Ru 3:12-13)...]


      1. Boaz meets the close relative at the gate - Ru 4:1
         a. Where people would travel in and out of the town
         b. Where business transactions were often made
         c. Where judges and officers were to be found - cf. Deut 16:18
      2. Boaz calls together ten elders of the city - Ru 4:2
         a. Who were frequently gathered at the gate - cf. Pr 31:23
         b. Such elders would serve as witnesses - cf. Ru 4:9

      1. Naomi had sold the land which belonged to her husband,
         Elimelech - Ru 4:3
         a. Some translations (NIV, NASB, etc.) indicate she was about
            to sell it - cf. Ru 4:9
         b. Within her right as one who was poor - cf. Lev 25:25
      2. Boaz encourages the close relative to redeem it, or Boaz will
         - Ru 4:4
         a. It was important that land stay within the family - cf. Lev
            25:23-28; Num 27:1-11
         b. At first, the close relative is willing to redeem it

      1. Boaz points out the obligation involving Ruth the Moabitess
         - Ru 4:5
         a. To buy (or acquire) Ruth (cf. NRSV, NASB) - cf. also Ru 4:10
         b. To marry her and perpetuate the name of her dead husband by
            giving him a son - cf. Deut 25:5-6
      2. Prompting the close relative to refuse to redeem it - Ru 4:6
         a. Concerned about ruining his own inheritance
            1) Perhaps because he knew the land would belong to
               Elimelech's family
            2) Thus spending money for land that would not long be his
         b. Who then gave the right (and responsibility) of redemption
            to Boaz

[With the refusal of redemption by the close relative...]


      1. Confirmed by the removal of a sandal - Ru 4:7-8
         a. A custom "in former times"
            1) Evidently not when the book of Ruth was written
            2) Possibly traced to the practice of taking possession of
               land by walking on the soil of the land being claimed
               (F. B. Huey, Jr., Expositor's Bible Commentary)
         b. Similar to another custom involving the removal of a sandal
            - cf. Deut 25:7-10
            1) Regarding the refusal to marry the widow of one's brother
            2) An expression of shame for such refusal to accept
         c. Yet such shame does not appear to be the purpose in this
      2. Witnessed by the ten elders and all the people - Ru 4:9
         a. They witnessed that Boaz purchased all the land of Elimelech
            and his sons
         b. That he bought it from the hand of Naomi

      1. Boaz has acquired Ruth as wife - Ru 4:10
         a. To perpetuate the name of the dead (Mahlon, Ruth's dead
         b. To maintain Mahlon's (family?) position at the gate
      2. Witnessed and blessed by townspeople and the elders - Ru
         a. The people proclaim themselves witnesses
         b. They bless Ruth and Boaz
            1) That the Lord make her like Rachel and Leah
            2) That Boaz prosper and be famous in Bethlehem Ephrathah
            3) That their house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar
               bore to Judah - cf. Gen 46:12; Num 26:20-22

[With the transaction for the land witnessed, and their union as husband
and wife blessed by the people at the gate...]


      1. With conception given by the Lord - Ru 4:13
         a. Fertility and barrenness were sometimes attributed to the
            Lord - cf. Gen 29:31; 30:2
         b. Perhaps in this way the writer was implying God's acceptance
            of the union of Boaz and Ruth
      2. With praise and prayer offered by the women - Ru 4:14-15
         a. Praise to the Lord for His kindness to Naomi through her
         b. Prayer that the child be a restorer and nourisher to Naomi
            in her old age
      3. With nursing by Naomi - Ru 4:16
      4. With his name "Obed" (servant) given by the neighbor women - Ru

      1. As mentioned at the close of Ru 4:17
      2. As illustrated in the genealogy of Perez - Ru 4:18-22
         a. Perez (son of Judah)
         b. Hezron
         c. Ram
         d. Amminadab
         e. Nahshon
         f. Salmon
         g. Boaz
         h. Obed
         i. Jesse
         j. David


1. At the beginning of our study, we noted that the book of Ruth serves
   two purposes...
   a. To illustrate how God rewards those who make wise spiritual
      choices and show steadfast filial loyalty
   b. To explain how Ruth, a Moabitess, came to be an ancestor of David,
      and ultimately, of the Messiah - cf. Ru 4:21-22; Mt 1:5-6

2. The book also reveals examples of commendable character...
   a. Nobility of character in Ruth, who proved to be better to Naomi
      than seven sons!
   b. Nobility of character in Boaz, as an employer, and believer in
      God's promises and commands

Remember that such character was manifested during a dark period in
Israel's history...

   "In those days [there was] no king in Israel; everyone did [what
   was] right in his own eyes." (Judg 21:25)

May their example of character encourage us to do what is right when we
live among people who seem to be little different than those in the days
of the Judges...!


A snapshot for the future

Recently, I was in CVS, getting a prescription filled for my wife and on the way out the front door, I remembered I needed to pick up some milk as well. While I was waiting in line, I happened to glance at the EASY SHARE camera on sale behind the counter.  A closer look revealed it was 14 mega pixels, which is a far cry from the 7 mp one I had purchased just a few years ago.  The thing is; the 7 mp camera took fine pictures and I still have it to this day.  So it probably is the same with these old black and white cameras from 1921 in the picture- I imagine they still work (IF you could find the film for them) just as well as they did in 1921.  Cameras are designed to do take pictures and people are make to seek out the will of God and do it.  But, what if one decides to deny or defy their creator?  Here is one example from the Old Testament...

Jeremiah, Chapter 18
 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,  2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words.  3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was making a work on the wheels.  4 When the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  5 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,  6 House of Israel, can’t I do with you as this potter? says Yahweh. Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.  7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;  8 if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them. 9 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;  10 if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they not obey my voice, then I will repent of the good, with which I said I would benefit them.  11 Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return you now everyone from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.  12 But they say, It is in vain; for we will walk after our own devices, and we will do everyone after the stubbornness of his evil heart.  13 Therefore thus says Yahweh: Ask now among the nations, who has heard such things; the virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing. 14 Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? Shall the cold waters that flow down from afar be dried up?  15 For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in byways, in a way not built up;  16 to make their land an astonishment, and a perpetual hissing; everyone who passes thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.

All nations are comprised of people of all sorts; some seek God and some do not.  But, when any nation rejects God; punishment awaits.  In Jeremiah's time, some listened to the word of God that he proclaimed, but most did not.  The result was disastrous!!! I am sorry to say that America is on a path to destruction, but until the instant of God's judgment, there is still time.  To all who read these words, listen: If God could judge a nation HE LOVED once, HE can do it again.  I know not everyone will listen, but I pray enough will to put our country once again on a Godly path.  Picture it; a country turning from sin and choosing to follow God!!! I don't even care what camera you use; color is unimportant, just the focus of the human heart!!!