OYB May 5
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 May 05
21:3 "O Lord, God of Israel," they cried out, "why has this happened in Israel? Now one of our tribes is missing from Israel!" This got me onto a bunny trail of studying out the tribes because I knew one was missing in the Millennial Kingdom tribes listed in Revelation. But actually, it is Dan that has been replaced by Manasseh. If you want to know why, here is a website that incorporates a little bit of the Talmud (oral tradition) in the explanation (scroll down to "Ephraim and Dan in Revelation"). Also, interesting to note was Jacob's "blessing" on Dan in Genesis 49:17: "Dan shall be a serpent in the way, A horned snake in the path, That bites the horse's heels, So that his rider falls backward." What does it mean? I'm not sure but here is some commentary from David Guzik:
Dan was a troublesome tribe. They were the tribe to introduce idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30). Jeroboam set up one of his idolatrous golden calves in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-30), and later Dan became a center of idol worship in Israel (Amos 8:14). Some think the serpent by the way refers to the idea that the Antichrist comes from the tribe of Dan (based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16). Dan is left out of the listing of tribes regarding the 144,000 in Revelation 7:5-8. But Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel's millennial roll call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48). This is a remarkable sign of God's redemption.
When you see the young women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush
out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to
the land of Benjamin to be your wife! There is no end to the
devices that people come up with to solve their own problems! Do you
see them asking God what to do? I am sure He could have come up with a
better plan than that!
21:25 In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. That's what I'm talkin' about!
Ruth is a beautiful symbolic picture for Gentiles (you and me). We will see what we can uncover together, but I know it is full of messages so see if you can pick up on things I miss!
1:1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a man from Bethlehem in Judah left the country because of a severe famine. Hmmm...already we see a man from Bethlehem leaving the land of Judah because of famine.
1:4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. Moabites were Gentiles. Orpah and Ruth will symbolize two types of Gentile Christians in coming text.
1:6-7 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. I believe this is all symbolic of the journey we make in our lives toward the goal of our faith, the reward and inheritance of living with our Messiah during His Millennial reign. It is both a spiritual journey (now), and a physical journey at the end of this age when we are resurrected. This will culminate with the Jewish people's eyes being opened to truth (getting good crops again after a severe famine), and the Gentile Church that has been grafted in being led back to Naomi's homeland, which would be Israel (as in MK!).
And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law
good-bye. But Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. "See," Naomi said to
her, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods.
You should do the same." Here we get a hint about what Orpah
represents. At the slightest prompting, Orpah kissed her opportunity
for the journey goodbye, choosing to go back to her gods where she was
comfortable, things were easier, and more secure. Rather than follow
the Wild Goose (the Holy Spirit) to an unknown place where the romance
and the prize awaits, she settled for false gods.
1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" The faint of heart will never survive this journey of single-hearted faith. God is looking for modern day Ruths in this Gentile Church who will follow the Wild Goose with great abandon until death! This is the race that Paul spoke of-following the ways of God in Spirit and in truth until our race is complete.
1:20-22 Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. I am not sure who Naomi represents in the picture, but it could be the faithful remnant of Judah (God promised there would always be a remnant who believed). If that is the case, it is Naomi who must lead Ruth to the Promised Land. You already know that I don't believe we can understand our Bibles very well without the help of the Messianic Jews (and even orthodox Jews in matters of OT--if you are new to the blog be sure to start from January so you can see the picture forming with the help of the Jewish teachings). So Naomi is stricken with grief as to her empty household, save Ruth, the faithful gentile. Notice that they arrived at the beginning of the barley harvest—does that ring a bell? Remember that Jesus was the firstfruits raised from the dead at the barley harvest (Spring Feast), and the repeat cycle of that firstfruits barley harvest will be the elect (first resurrection of the faithful) for the Millennial Kingdom.
4:41-42 Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world." There's another beautiful story being told here. In his book, Eternity to Here, Frank Viola speaks of the Samaritan woman as a portrayal of one of the "brides of Christ." In fact, throughout the Bible Frank shows us various "types" of the Bride of Christ such as Sarah, Rachel, Rebekah, Asenath (Joseph's gentile wife), and Abigail. And now, here is another one-a Samaritan woman who has lived a life of sin.
To back up, verse 4 tells us that Jesus was visiting Jacob's well, and Frank believes that He symbolizes the "new Jacob." Remember that Jacob found his wife Rachel at a well at noontime (Gen 29:1-30) same as Jesus being at this well at the 6th hour (noon). Here are some of Frank's thoughts on this bride:
Alas, the woman arrives.
Surprisingly, she is not what angels nor mortals would expect. She is
not beautiful like Rachel. She is not pure like Rebekah. She is not
graceful like Sarah. No, she is deeply marred. She has a tragic history
salted with rejection. She is not a pure virgin. Instead she's a girl
who has been used up and ruined.
The angels begin musing: "Can this be the chosen bride for the perfect Son of God? Can this be the wife worthy of God?" Shockingly, the answer is unquestionably yes. The Samaritan woman, this unlovely tragic figure, is the one whom the Lord Jesus chooses to be His own.
Take a good look at her. She has had five husbands. And the sixth man in her life, with whom she is presently living, is not her husband. But Jesus Christ does the unthinkable. He introduces Himself to her as her new Husband; the seventh (note the great number of perfection) man in her life, the heavenly suitor who will love her like no man ever has: He will turn her tragedy into purity, her ashes into beauty, her misery into joy.
This woman is a Samaritan; she's a half-breed, half Jew and half Gentile. She depicts the bride of Jesus Christ, comprised of fallen, tragic humanity, Jew and Gentile, who have been re-created anew to be the masterpiece of God's matchless grace (Eph. 2:10-15).