An Old Testament missionary—and prophet—who went the wrong way!
“Jonah could not give his life for the sins of the sailors; only the sinless Jesus Christ could fulfill that role in an eternal sense. Here the disparity between Christ and Jonah could not be more apparent. The sacrifice of Christ is clearer and greater than the opaqueness of Jonah’s relatively meager expiation.” (Bryan D. Estelle, Salvation Through Judgment and Mercy, p. 60).
The mid-week Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church focuses on Jonah 1 this week.
“When Ruth encountered Boaz, she held him to his own words. Boaz had said that she had come to find refuge under the Lord’s wings. That memorable night Ruth asked Boaz, as the redeemer, to take her under the protection of his wings. (The same Hebrew word is used as in 2:12, but most English translations render it as skirt in 3:9).” (C. Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 115. © 1978. Paideia Press).
The Wednesday night Bible study/prayer time at Trinity Presbyterian Church focuses on Ruth 3.
“Ruth, who had vowed to Naomi that ‘Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’ (Ruth 1:16), came to the Lord of Israel, under whose wings she sought refuge (Ruth 2:12). How striking! Here is a daughter of Moab acting like Abraham!” (Warren Gage, “Ruth and Gibeah,” The Westminster Theological Jounal, Vol, 51, No. 2., 1989, p. 374).
Yes, Ruth is a beautiful story. But it is more than that. Its account of God’s dealing with the Moabitess challenges you also to seek the protection of his wings, to come to the Messiah who would one day be born of Ruth’s line.
Tonight’s Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church focuses on Ruth 2.
The last five chapters of Judges form a pair of grim appendices to that book. The tiny, four chapter long, book of Ruth can be seen as a third appendix, or better a hinge or transition to the books of Samuel and Kings. The book focuses on God’s sovereign care, but also outlines the ancestry of David, and, above all, illustrates the vital work of the kinsman-redeemer.
“…Is Ruth simply functioning in this story as an example of loyalty and devotion to family? No! A thousand times no! Ruth clings to Naomi, Ruth vows to go where Naomi goes, to lodge where Naomi lodges because in clinging to Naomi, in embracing Naomi, in holding fast to Naomi, Ruth is clinging to God! She is clinging to the Kingdom of God. She is clinging to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She can do no other. She has been apprehended by the grace of God.” (Bryan Schroeder, “The Faith of a Foreigner,” Kerux, Vol. 13, No. 2, Sept. 1999).
It is a sweeping, life-encompassing commitment the Lord expects from you. But with it goes the assurance that the Lord will be your God, never abandoning or neglecting you.
The Bible study this evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC, focuses on Ruth 1. A time of prayer follows. You are welcome to join us.
“Revelation shows the lengths to which the Lamb has gone and will go to make us the holy city in whom he will dwell forever. Christ loves his church and binds himself to her with bonds that no enemy from without and no failure of ours from within can sever.” “When we glimpse the bride through the eyes of her Groom, it lifts our head in hope and calms our frustrated hearts for persevering love for one another.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 342–3).
“All Old Testament concepts shed their external, nationalistic-Israelitish meanings and become manifest in their spiritual and eternal sense. . . . [T]he New Testament itself has given to the particularistic ideas of the Old Testament a universal and cosmic meaning. (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, p. 661).
“But in the new heaven and new earth, the world as such is restored; in the believing community the human race is saved. In that community, which Christ has purchased and gathered from all nations, languages, and tongues (Rev. 5:6; etc.), all nations, Israel included, maintain their distinct place and calling (Matt. 8:11; Rom. 11:25; Rev. 21:24; 22:2). And all those nations—each in accordance with its own distinct national character—bring into the new Jerusalem all they have received from God in the way of glory and honor (Rev. 21:24, 26). (Herman Bavinck, p. 720). Continue reading