Judges 21:1- Ruth 1:22, John 4:4-42, Psalms 105:1-15, Proverbs 14:24-25
Today is the 5th day of May welcome to the daily by both Cinco de Mayo it’s good to be here with you today as we come together and dive in and take the next step forward in the Scriptures. This is a good day. Today we’re going to conclude the book of Judges and then move our way into the book of Ruth and…ahhh…comes at a really really good time. So, we’ll talk about that when we get there. But first, let’s conclude the book of Judges. We…we began a pretty treacherous story yesterday that left us like with one tribe missing because of Civil War and some terrible injustice. And, so, we’ll conclude that story today. Judges chapter 21.
Introduction to the book of Ruth:
Okay. So, that concludes the book of Judges, which now brings us to the first page of the book of Ruth. And like I was saying earlier, especially when we get to this time of year, all that we’ve gone through in the year, and it’s been a super unique year to say the least, but also we get to this point in the year and we’re kind of moving through Judges and we just need, it’s like we need a breath of fresh air at this point and it comes and it couldn’t come at a better time. We’ve seen anarchy. We’ve seen just the chaotic extremes of what it looks like when everybody does what is right in their own eyes and this kind of systematic rebellion, this wave of back-and-forth over centuries with God and just the challenges that the people were facing even just to be led. So, Ruth comes in and like a breeze and just begins to transition us into the next season. And we’re moving into new eras in the Bible, but Ruth is this story, basically it’s a story…there’s more than three people in it but it’s a story of three major players, Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. These are people who, in spite of opportunity for exploitation or whatever, like choose to do the right thing, even though they’re going through some really tough, difficult, trying times. And we should be able to relate. And what we see in the book of Ruth is that when people have character and they use that character and cultivate wisdom and think things through and make correct choices and follow those choices then God’s faithful, He is ever present. But Ruth also gives us this breath of fresh air where we’ll get to see this beautiful portrait of women, strong and full of character in the Scriptures. And it’s because of Ruth and Naomi’s faithfulness that eventually King David would be born and through the vine of King David Jesus would come. And, so, we begin. The book of Ruth chapter 1.
Okay. So, in the book of John, Jesus is having a conversation with the woman at the well, today. So, this is a very, very famous story. The woman is a Samaritan. We’ve explored Samaritans before, especially in the story of the good Samaritan. So, Jesus has done a somewhat rare thing. Most of Jesus ministry is centered in the Jewish culture among the Hebrew people. So, He’s kind of left and He’s among the Samaritan people when He has this conversation. And it’s interesting that in Jesus time among the Samaritan people they believed. They heard Him with their own ears, and they believed. He was unpacking things for them that they believed, and they believed in Him, whereas the Jewish story is a different one. The people could see something different about Jesus, but the religious leaders denounced Him continually. And Jesus said something really interesting in the conversation that He was having with this woman, “but the time is coming, indeed, it’s here now, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those will worship him that way for God is Spirit. So, those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” So, how do we do that? How do we worship in Spirit? And even bringing that question up obviously puts a massive amount of theological forks in the road. And we can go down all these forks in the road to explain this but why don’t we just get simple? Are we a spirit? Do we have a Spirit? As believers, we certainly believe that we do. We would even declare that our Spirit is the truest essence of us, like it is the real deal. It’s the real us or that everything that’s real about us flows from there. And if we generally believe that we are kind of made up as a tri-human being, a being that has a body and a soul or a mind or a brain that can certainly direct our body, but a lot more is going on in our head than our bodies ever do. Like, we’re thinking all of the time and then we have a Spirit, the true essence of life within us, that which has been granted by God. So, then being able being able to say, “I am not my body. My body is certainly something I must care for. It’s the temple of God, the Holy Spirit within me, I must care for, it is a part of my experience and a part of my existence. But I am not only my body. I am not only my mind”, right? Like, “I am not only the things that I think about.” And I’ve been thinking about thoughts a lot lately. It’s like you could be sitting still and just kinda listen to some music or just be really quiet and just try to concentrate and be still before God or whatever and it’s amazing when you get still how many thoughts are happening that you can observe. Like, how…how is it that you choose the one that you’re gonna, that you’re gonna go down, the path that you’re gonna go down. There’s so many opportunities to think about so many things and we choose one and then we go down a rabbit hole and it can completely change our day, it can completely change our emotional life, it can change everything. How is it that we choose the things that we do? How do we take those things captive? I’ve been thinking a lot about that and realizing I think a lot like most…I’m a thinker and I’m an introvert and most my life is in my head, but to try to get to a place to say I am not my thoughts any more than I am my body any more than I am my emotions that come and go, something true about me is here, like there’s something deeper than all of these things that is the truth of who I am. And I think we all know and sense this, we just mostly stay in the realm of thoughts or feelings. And yet, at the depth of our being is a…an eternal Spirit, maybe we could say the truest part of us. So, Jesus seems to be saying here, especially in the context of the conversation He’s happening is, “it doesn’t matter where you go to do your worship, it matters that you do it truthfully from the truest place in you, a place that can have union with God in Spirit.” This is the point that you can kind of branch off into any number of theological or dog…dogmatic teachings. Like go down that path. How then do I do this? Like how do I activate, how do I engage in Spirit? And in the Christian faith that can range in a number of directions from, “you can’t do this because you are completely corrupt. But one day you will be able to when you are whole” all the way to, you know, “you’ve gotta speak in tongues” and that’s the evidence that you’re…that you’re engaging with the spiritual realm and everything in between. For me, having walked many of these paths, for me I am…where I’m at now is just trying to find some point in my day to be still and know that He is God instead of running around frantically thinking about how He is God and getting all whipped up into every care of this life trying to invoke Him to do things for me. I’m trying to at least find someplace that resembles what Jesus is talking about, someplace where I can get past thinking thoughts about God and being still enough to know, which is deeper than thinking or feeling, to know that He is God.
So, Jesus we take to heart the things that You have said. We believe them. We engage with them. We allow them to enter us and our thoughts and our emotions and everything that is beyond that. We want to worship in Spirit and in truth and we can go in all kinds of directions, but Spirit and truth have to be involved. And, so, we invite Your Holy Spirit into our Spirit, into the truest places of who we are, the places that are made in Your image and we just open ourselves up to You. We’re always, always using words. In fact, we’re talking to You right now and I’m using words but there is a language in love that is beyond words, and those of us who are in love with somebody on this earth with a spouse or somebody that we love that we’ve been with for a long time and we’ve gotten to know, like, even though the getting to know never ends, even though we can never know everything about the one that we love, we have those moments where we’re still and we know and it’s beyond words, and this is how we want to sit with You. The way this is described in the Scriptures is like a weaned child that his mother’s breast – calm, safe, beyond words, true. So, come Holy Spirit and help us to find some space in this day for that and every day for that, that we might go deeper in this relationship that You have invited us into. Come Holy Spirit into this we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.