April 29 “Authority: I know what the Bible says, but …”

We’re tempted to scoff at the Pharisees and their refusal to acknowledge Jesus’ authority. We would never do that … or would we?

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Today’s Readings:
Ruth 3 & 4
Psalm 52.6-9
Proverbs 15.6-7
Luke 20.1-26

Ruth 3 & 4:

A kinsman-redeemer

Chapter 3 opens with these verses:

1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.”

5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”

Even though the custom seems very strange to us, Ruth was obeying her mother-in-law and doing the morally right thing to appeal to Boaz to marry her under the levirate law. Boaz commended her for her request. After their marriage, the first child born to Boaz and Ruth was Obed, the grandfather of King David and ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Boaz as Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer was a type of Jesus Christ Himself who would later redeem us because we had been sold into sin and had no means to redeem ourselves.

Psalm 52.6-9:

The end of the wicked

The psalmist compares the ultimate destruction of evil doers and God’s care for the righteous. He acknowledges that the wicked may boastfully appear to succeed for a time, but will ultimately be judged and become a laughing stock.

Proverbs 15.6-7:

Meditation, the heart, and the lips

Verse 7, “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.” Why does the writer of Proverbs compare the “lips” of the wise and the “heart” of the fool? Because the two are so closely tied together.

The reason the wise is able to disperse knowledge is because she has been putting God’s truth in his heart, choosing to view things from God’s perspective, meditating on it, and seeking to be a doer of it.

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The fool, on the other hand, feeds and meditates on all the wrong things. Don’t think you can have a thought life full of whining and complaining, envy and jealousy, and have anything wholesome come out of your mouth. You may be able to fool people for a while, but eventually your words will reveal what is really in your heart.

Luke 20.1-26:

By what authority?

Verses 1-2, “Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

Solomon said, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Many say the same thing today. The words may be different, but the heart attitude is the same.

“What right do you have to impose your religion on me?”
“What makes you think the Bible is true?”
“By what authority do you have a National Day of Prayer?”
“How can you say that Jesus is the only way to heaven?”

But before we get too self-righteous about the words and attitudes of non-believers, we need to first take the logs out of our own eyes.

“I know what the Bible says, but …”
“This is 2014 …”
“Me … submit to my husband. What if he’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong with living together? A marriage license is just a piece of paper.”
“Sex isn’t wrong if you’re committed to each other.”

It’s either “Amen” or “Oh, me!”

Blessings,
Donna

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