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Daily Devotion for October 26, 2017
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Music (Eventide) by Wm H. Monk, 1861
Lyrics by Henry Lyle, 1847
Song of Praise (based on Psalm 8)
O Lord my God, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, who am I that you are mindful of me, who are any of us that you should guide and protect us?
Yet you have made us in your image, a little lower than the angels, and crowned us with glory and honor we do not deserve. You have given us dominion over the works of your hands and put the earth beneath our feet; you have given us dominion over the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea. O Lord my God, I praise you for your gifts to me. How majestic is your name in all the earth!
Prayer to Stand Together in Service
Heavenly Father, make me an instrument of your grace. Weave my life together with the lives of all who confess the name of your Son, Jesus, into a holy garment to cover the world; let us be as bricks in a great lighthouse to guide the entire world to you, to your love and your forgiveness. Help us to overcome differences that come from our sinful nature, so that we may be welded together in a holy priesthood, standing as a testimony to purity, goodness, and forgiveness. Bless me and those who pray with me now, that although we cannot see or hear one another, we may be bonded in your Holy Spirit.
[Being an instrument of God’s grace.]
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
“We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God’s grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.”
~ Charles H. Spurgeon
The Story of Ruth (part 5)
[If you have not been following along, you might want to read Ruth 1 before reading today's selection.]
“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant, though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls.”
At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her. Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about six quarts. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!” Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.”
Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’” Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with his girls, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”
So Ruth stayed close to the servant girls of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Notes on the Scripture
Naomi calls Boaz “one of our kinsman-redeemers.” The concept of a redeemer was part of the Jewish law of the time. When a person died, certain close relatives would have certain duties and rights concerning the estate and family of the deceased. Usually, this role would fall upon a brother.
or example, if the deceased had owned land but had lost it, the redeemer might be able to repurchase it or even retake it for free, for the benefit of the heirs. A brother might be obligated to marry his dead brother’s wife. In some cases, if a man had been murdered, his redeemer might be obligated to kill the murderer. The rights and obligations varied from time to time and place to place.
Naomi is, perhaps, being optimistic when she calls Boaz a kinsman-redeemer. Although he is a kinsman, he is not an immediate relative like a brother of her husband, and so it is doubtful that the Law required a great deal of him. It seems that Boaz is following the spirit of the Law, trying to take care of the widows of his distant relatives when they had nobody else.