THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE: RUTH 2:10

“Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”

Why Ruth 2:10?

Because it expresses the sense of wonder and gratitude that should be humbly manifest from the heart of every person who is a part of the Bride of Christ.

Ruth’s story is a familiar one. She was born into this world a Moabitess. The Moabites were a race of people cursed by God due to sin (Deut. 23:3).

During a time of famine (1:1), one day someone shared with Ruth the fact that the Lord had visited His people in Bethlehem, giving them bread (1:6). Upon hearing that good news, she left her father and mother and the gods of her homeland, and went to partake of the Lord’s provision of bread in Bethlehem (1:15-18).

When she arrived in Bethlehem, she just “happened” (2:3) to go to work, gleaning in the harvest field of the only man on earth who would carry out for her the Old Testament provision of the kinsman redeemer (Lev. 25:23-28). His name was Boaz, a mighty man of wealth, a Jew, from the city of Bethlehem (2:1-2). Boaz take ones look at her, falls head-over-heels in love with her (2:5), and takes her out of his harvest field to be his bride (4:9-10). “And,” as the old saying goes, “they lived happily ever after.”

Like Ruth, we too, were born into a race of people that had been cursed by God due to sin (Rom. 5:12; 6:23a). We call it the “human” race.

But, one day, someone shared with us the fact that God had visited this planet, being born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4, 7), as the Bread of Life (John 6:35), and could feed the famine sin had left in our soul. Upon hearing that “good news” (gospel I Cor. 15:1-4), we left our father and mother (Matt. 10:37), and the “gods” we once served in our homeland (I Thess. 1:9), and became a partaker of God’s provision on our behalf.

We have now been left to work, gleaning in the harvest field (Matt. 13:38) of our Jewish Kinsman Redeemer, the mighty man of wealth (the “God-man”) from the city of Bethlehem, until He calls us out of His harvest field (I Thess. 4:16) to make us His bride (Rev. 19:7; 21:9), and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:17), living happily ever after (Rev. 21:4).

May hiding Ruth 2:10 in our hearts be a reminder of God’s awesome and wondrous grace in allowing us, “strangers from the covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12), to have the glorious privilege of being His Bride!

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DAY 47 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2004

TODAY’S READING: NUMBERS 11-12

OVERVIEW:

The complaint of the people; the lust of the people; the complaint of Moses; the 70 elders chosen; the plague of the quail; Aaron and Miriam speak against Moses; Miriam is stricken with leprosy; Moses prays on her behalf.

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

As the blessed observance of the Passover ended in chapter 9, the guiding cloud lifted from off the Tabernacle in chapter 10, sending the entire camp of Israel in motion. What an exciting time it must have been as “the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days journey, to search out a resting place from them” (Num. 10:33), moving them ever-closer to Canaan. Surely Israel was filled with singing, and rejoicing! NOT! The opening words of chapter 11 begin, “And when the people complained.” In fact, complaining and murmuring becomes one of Israel’s favorite pastimes!

“And when the people COMPLAINED. . .” Num. 11:1 “And Miriam and Aaron SPAKE AGAINST Moses. . .” Num. 12:1 “And all the children of Israel MURMURED against Moses and against

Aaron. . .” Num. 14:2

“Now Koran. . .took men: And they ROSE UP before Moses. . .and they

gathered themselves together against Moses and against

Aaron. . .” Num. 16:1-3

“But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel

MURMURED against Moses and Aaron. . .” Numbers 16:41 “And the men, which Moses sent to search the land…made all the

congregation to MURMUR against him. . .” Num. 14:36

Some have even suggested that rather than being called the Book of Numbers, perhaps the Fourth Book of Moses might more aptly be called “The Book of Murmurings”!

But not only did the people fall into the trap of murmuring and complaining, they also fell into the trap of lusting. It seems unthinkable, especially coming off of the heels of the glorious reminder of their deliverance from the AFFLICTION of their flesh in Egypt that they had just celebrated in the Passover, that only a few days later they would be lusting for the ways their flesh was GRATIFIED in Eqypt. (Num. 11:4-9)! Can anyone say “I Corinthians 6:10”? “Now theses things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” Sometimes it’s easy for believers to forget that this world’s system (Egypt), was the snare Satan used to hold us captive at his will (II Tim 2:26). Forgetting that it was the very system of evil that almost sent us to Hell, we begin to lust for the ways our flesh was gratified when we were in it. God help us!

Note the sad results of the complaining and carnality of the people upon their leader. Moses is thrust into great discouragement, and himself, begins to voice his complaint to the Lord (11:10-15). He cries out, “I can’t do this, God! The burden is too heavy. Just kill me!”

In the remainder of chapter 11, God deals the complaints of both Moses and the people. He gives Moses 70 elders to assist him in his work, and he gives the Jews the meat they lusted for. Note, however, that in both cases, THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED, BUT LOST WHAT THEY HAD. The Spirit of God anointing Moses to lead the people was divided among the 70 elders, and the meat the Children of Israel lusted after was a curse that led to their death. (“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:14-15) The lesson is, be careful what you ask God for.

In chapter 12, the murmuring has ascended to yet another level. Now it flows from Moses’ own brother and sister: Aaron, the High Priest, and Miriam, Israel’s prophetess (Ex. 15:20). They state that their complaint against Moses was the Ethiopian wife he had selected, but it is only the smokescreen to mask their own jealousy and pride. Their complaint wasn’t really against Moses’ selection of a wife; it was against Moses’ authority. What they really wanted was the authority of Moses’ position. Verse 2 makes their motive abundantly clear. Once again, don’t miss the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same! Human nature still employs the same tactics in the 21st century.

Note that Moses in his meekness (12:3), does not seek to vindicate himself, but rather trusts God to handle the situation. God was well able to make the point!

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

In MOSES who “was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” Num. 12:3 (Matt. 11:29 Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.”)