Ruth Lesson 1

An Extraordinary God

In the Lives of

Ordinary People

Ruth was the great grandmother of King David. She is also one of only four women specifically named by Matthew in the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5). Jewish tradition credits Samuel as the author, which is plausible since he did not die (1 Sam. 25:1) until after he had anointed David as God’s chosen king (1 Sam. 16:6–13). However, neither internal features nor external testimony conclusively identifies the writer. This  story most likely appeared shortly before or during David’s reign of Israel (1011–971 B.C.).

 

For many years, Moab oppressed Israel during the period of the judges, if you read Judges chapter 3, at least 18 years of direct oppression by Moab against Israel during the period of the judges. So Moab, on and off again, was troublesome to Israel. Moab was idolatrous, rejected the true God, and was generally an enemy of Israel. This country originated when Lot fathered Moab by an incestuous union with his oldest daughter (Gen. 19:37).

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Ruth Lesson 1”

Esther Lesson 5

The essence of holy war in the Old Testament is not about two nations in warfare, one of which happens to be Israel. Holy war is about God warring against sin and evil on the earth.

Est 8:1  Haman has been executed , but the evil he set in motion lives on in the decree of death against the Jewish people. This had not been revoked by the king. One wonders what would have happened if Mordecai had bowed to Haman in Esther 3 and Esther 4? His courage and commitment to not bow set in motion the series of divine “coincidences” in Esther 5-7 which resulted in the death of Haman and ultimately raised Mordecai to the number two position in Persia! Continue reading “Esther Lesson 5”

Esther Lesson 4

 

Ps 121:3-4

3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

 

Est 5:1  On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace.

In Lesson 4, we see Esther puts on her royal robes as queen, and requests an audience with the king. Knowing she may lose her life if he doesn’t extend his gold scepter to her. The king responds favorably toward her.  Continue reading “Esther Lesson 4”

Esther Lesson 3

In lesson 3, we read about Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. Haman was a descendant of Agag, who was the king of the Amalekites, the people who were Israel’s sworn enemy for generations (Exodus 17:14-16). Agag was the king of the Amalekites at the time Saul (also of the tribe of Benjamin) was the first king of Israel (1 Sam. 15). The Amalekites were a nomadic people of the southern desert region who frequently raided Israel from the beginning of its history.

In Deuteronomy 25:17–19, God commanded Israel, once they were settled in the land, to be agents of his promise and so war against the Amalekites as to blot out their memory forever. When Saul came to power, God instructed him through the prophet Samuel to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them,” and to “put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Sam. 15:1–3). Saul did attack the Amalekites as commanded, but he took Agag their king alive and spared his life along with the best of the sheep and cattle, in disobedience to God’s command. For this act of disobedience, Saul was abandoned by God and rejected (1 Sam. 15:28). Haman is a descendant of Agag; he is an Agagite. And Mordecai and Esther belong to the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe from which King Saul has come, so you can see the conflict here. Continue reading “Esther Lesson 3”