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Drinking Living Water- Day 11 March 19, 2011

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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Drinking Living Water Through a Fire Hose – Day 11: Ruth 1- Samuel 19, Psalm 55-59, Proverbs 11, John 5-10

Ruth 1: God uses a famine to send Naiomi and Elimelek to Moab. Their sons marry Moabite women Ruth is one of these women, Orpah the other. The two boys, and their father Elimelek, die in Moab. Naiomi (“Pleasant”) renames herself Mara (“Bitter”) after the death of her husband and sons, and she returns to Bethlehem. Ruth travels with her, Orpah stays in Moab. Bethlehem, says Wikipedia, means “House of Meat” in Arabic, but “House of Bread” in Hebrew. It’s fascinating. Jesus taught he was the Bread of Life in John 6:35, that none should go hungry. Arabic and Hebrew have some very interesting differences of meanings. John 6 is in the reading for today. v19: The whole town was stirred because of them. 3:7 What in the world was going on here? Some commentators say there was some hanky-panky going on, others say that Boaz treated Ruth with honor although she was putting herself at risk. I’m inclined to think it was honorable, but I wasn’t there. Someday someone will probably publish a “naughty Bible” in which all of the double-entenderes or euphemisms that people think mean something that they might not mean will be written out the way the world wants people to look at the Bible. And someone will make a mad fortune because the world will want to make the love stories of the Bible into the stuff of a trashy novel introducing all manner of eisegesis. The Bible is pretty explicit when it comes to telling stories about people having sex with people (see the Genesis story on the origin of the Moabites), and pretty clear about when people DIDN’T have sex with other people (See the story of Mary and Joseph), so why would they have couched something illicit in a euphemism here?

Ruth ends with the geneology of King David himself. And with that, God writes yet another gentile woman into the geneology of Jesus, and offers redemption to Moab, conceived in sin.

I Samuel 1- Peninah teased Hannah because she had kids and Hannah didn’t. Teased her to tears. One can imagine what she may have said about her abilities with Elkanah. I Samuel 2 – I don’t know what to think about abandoning one’s children at the temple. If I lived under Old Testament law, both of my children (first born child -my daughter, and first born son) should both be dedicated to the Lord. And I hope they are, not just of my hope, but also of their own free will. It sounds like an interesting practice, and it resulted for Hannah in her son becoming Eli’s replacement, as both of his sons were evil. Hophni and Phinehas. tsk. Taking meat before the fat was burned off, as the fat belonged to the Lord, and sleeping with the women who served at the temple, it’s a wonder that God didn’t strike them dead earlier. Instead Eli, a large man- so one wonders what sort of example he set for the two boys- dies of a broken neck from his chair tipping backward and him falling, when he hears that his two sons both died in fulfillment of this prophecy. But I’m getting ahead of myself, that doesn’t happen until I Samuel 4:17-18.

I Samuel 3 Samuel is called by God. Eli, dim-sighted as he may have been, wasn’t completely spiritually blind. He recognized that Samuel was being called and advised Samuel how to answer God. So God told Samuel some things that made him squirm under the burden of knowledge. He didn’t want to tell Eli, but Eli asked and Samuel was faithful. I Samuel 4: Ichabod. The Ark captured. As the priests serving in the temple were wicked, the father doing nothing to restrain his sons, the sons in their pursuit of taking something that belonged to God, as well as taking advantage of women who would otherwise have served God (rather than man), God did not defend them from the Philistines, and so the Ark was captured. God however, still had his heart set on Israel, and didn’t want the Ark left there. Nor did he want the symbol of his presence and power left in a place of common, earthly, dead idols. Whatever power was behind Dagon prostrated before the presence of God, not once but twice. The second time he broke the idols hands and his neck doing so forcefully. Not only that, he afflicted the people with death, or tumors. So, I Samuel 6, they sent the Ark back.

The Philistines were wise- they didn’t look into the Ark, but instead packed their guilt offerings in a box next to it. 5 gold rats and 5 gold tumors. And God removed the plagues from them. But 6:19, 70 Israelites died because they dared to look inside the Ark. The stuff of Indiana Jones springs to mind.

Beth Shemesh- “house of the sun” named for a Canaanite godess.

I Samuel 7: 9 Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him.

So was it Samuel who cried out, or the Lamb? (The Hebrew text indicates it was Samuel, I just thought it was an interesting arrangement of words and implications in English)

v12, “Ebenezer” =stone of help

I Samuel 8: Samuel’s sons rebelled too, just as Eli’s sons, so Samuel was not able to prove himself a better spiritual mentor and guide than his teacher. The people reject God as their king and ask for a human king so they can be “like all the other nations.” Wait. The chosen people of God want to be just like all the other nations? Oops!

I Samuel 9: Saul, a Benjamite, is chosen to be king. He’s a tall, dark and handsome guy, the kind people look up to. David, from the tribe of Judah, is short and overlooked, a shepherd. Samuel says God looks on the heart.

I Samuel 10:9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart. THIS is why I pray for politicians and rock stars.

Saul was presumptuous to offer the sacrifice when Samuel had told him to wait, then was outright disobedient when he kept some of what was to have been dedicated to God (I Samuel 15) and lied about it (v. 13). But later I Samuel 19, Saul prophesies, “23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. ” OK that’s just weird to me. 1) why would God’s spirit fall on the one He rejected? and 2) why was Saul naked?

Psalm 55:19 God, Who is enthroned from of old, Who does not change
I Samuel 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

Psalm 57:1 for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
Ruth 3:9 Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.
Proverbs 11: 14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.

and THAT, along with I Samuel 10:9, is why I pray for our President, and have since I learned to do it. May God bless President Obama, and those who may follow him, with wisdom and wise counselors.

John 5: Jesus insists on showing the spiritual leaders of Israel that it is all right to do good service to others, even on the Sabbath day.

John 6: A play on words. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Bethlehem- house of bread, or house of flesh. Jesus is offered as living bread, his flesh or the life of the world.

John 8, the woman caught in adultery. I always ask, where was the man? But I suspect, as others do, that he was in the crowd ready with a stone. What did Jesus write on the ground? What did the men think about when He told them to let the one who hadn’t sinned throw the first stone? They all left, and Jesus saved another woman of circumstances and choices. God likes marginalized people a lot. Widows, orphans, babies, elderly, etc. Give me the weak, I will be strong in them.

John 8 a fascinating progression of claims from the Israelites: First they claim to be sons of Abraham, then they claim to be sons of God.
They claim Jesus has a demon and Jesus claims He is God and they are sons of someone else.

John 9, a guy is healed from blindness, again with the Sabbath. And the leaders don’t get it yet. They want to discredit Jesus for not obeying the Sabbath laws that they themselves interpreted, rather than interpreting the law as Jesus is instructing them. And they claim to be disciples of Moses here.

John 10: Jesus is the Shepherd. See Ecclesiastes 12:11. Jesus, the son of a carpenter, taught that trade, calls himself the Shepherd. And his words are wise.

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