|A QUICK LOOK BACK|
If you’re like me, after reading Judges, you’re probably ready for some good news for a change. I am very happy to tell you that we are reading the story of Ruth next. But before we move into happier places, a quick look back at the wreckage is in order. There was a definite pattern to the Book of Judges. So regular is this pattern, you can almost tap your toe to the beat if it weren’t such a sad song. Israel ignored God and did whatever they felt like doing, including trying out other gods. Israel’s God would then withdraw support as Israel’s hostile neighbors grew bold and attacked. Under great suffering, the people cried out to God and threw out the idols. God raised up a deliverer, one of the judges or temporary leaders, who would be used by god to win the day militarily. Peace would be returned and in its comfort, Israel would start to wander away and the whole thing would start up again. It truly becomes a downward spiral as we are dragged through the depths of horror, sin, and civil war. Now some good news!
THE ROAD AHEAD
Honor seems to be in short supply, but this week we meet Ruth and Boaz who can restore your faith in humanity. It is the story of a foreign widow who received acceptance, hospitality, and kindness. It is a love story. We meet Job this week, too. Remember Moses’ promises in Deuteronomy about blessings and curses? Obey God and you will be healthy and happy. Disobey and you will suffer. Think of the Book of Job as a grand experiment in the human spirit and in the nature of God. God allows Satan to do his worst to faithful Job confident that it would not shake his faith in God. Job’s friends however assume that Job’s suffering can only mean one thing: Job must’ve sinned. His suffering is a just punishment from God. So how does all this work? Do bad things happen to good people? Enjoy the debate!
Keep reading! I’ll see you in the Bible!
WEEK 13 Reading Schedule:
Mar 26 Ruth Ruth
Mar 27 Job 1-5 Satan and God Test Job
Mar 28 Job 6-9 Job’s Friends Lecture Him
Mar 29 Job 10-13 Job is Offended by Harsh Advice
Mar 30 Job 14-16 Job Complains and Searches for Hope
Mar 31 Job 17-20 Debate Turns to Hostility
Apr 1 Job 21-23 Job Questions Conventional Wisdom