Devotions
Skip to today's devotion

Yearly Devotional

Our yearly devotional is now available to download in book format. Click here to download the devotions in digital formats (mobi and epub) that are compatible with a variety of devices (Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc).

Yearly Bible Reading Plans

The most important thing for a Christian to do is to keep his or her relationship with God fervent. The best way to do that is with a consistent devotional life, a life of prayer and Bible study. We suggest that a Christian pray everyday, read the Bible and study it. Here we have listed for you several different programs to help you read through the entire Bible in a year. You can read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, read it through in order of events (chronologically), or a few other ways, but whatever way you choose - READ THE BIBLE! Click on the title to download that program in PDF Format. Most "Through the Bible" methods were taken from backtothebible.org

Chronological

Read the events of the Bible as they occured chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis since Job lived around the same time as Abraham.

Historical

Read the books of the Bible as they occured in the Hebrew and Greek traditions (the order in which they were written). For example, the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible do not occur in the same order as they do in our English Bible. The New Testament books are arranged according to their date of writing as well.

Old and New Testament Together

Read the Old Testament and New Testament together. Your knowledge of the Old Testament will be enhanced by what you read simultaneously in the New Testament.

Beginning to End

With this guide there are no surprises. You simply read through the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.

Robert Murray McCheyne

This Through The Bible Plan was written by the Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne for his congregation. The readings in the left hand column are to be read by the entire family as a family. The readings on the left are individual (or "secret" as McCheyne called them) readings. They are meant to be read during personal devotion time.


Devotion For March 25, 2017

Christ Came to Seek and Save Us!

 

INTERESTING FACTS : "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington
 
DAILY READING : JUDGES 19 - 21; RUTH
 
TEXT : Jdg 19:1  And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. Jdg 19:2  And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. Jdg 19:3  And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. Rth 1:1  Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. Rth 4:13  So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. Rth 4:14  And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
 
THEME : SALVATION
 
As we finish the Book of Judges and read Ruth, we find a few common denominators between the two.
 
First, the events of Ruth and the last three chapters of Judges all take place in Bethlehemjudah. Bethlehemjudah was the name of the town of Bethlehem after the conquest of Canaan. It is the birthplace of Christ, as well as David and Ruth. Second, it is no coincidence that stories of redemption are found in the Levite who goes after his concubine who is unfaithful to him, and in Boaz who redeems the house of Naomi and of Ruth. Further, Christ - according to the flesh, is a descendant of Ruth [a Gentile]. "And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David." [Rth 4:21 - 22]
 
To digress and review for a moment, we see the last three chapters of Judges contain war within the nation of Israel. We observe the near extinction of the tribe of Benjamin. Matthew Henry sums up the last three chapters of Judges.
 
"The three remaining chapters of this book contain a most tragical story of the wickedness of the men of Gibeah, patronised by the tribe of Benjamin, for which that tribe was severely chastised and almost entirely cut off by the rest of the tribes. This seems to have been done not long after the death of Joshua, for it was when there was no king, no judge, in Israel (Jdg_19:1, and Jdg_21:25), and Phinehas was then high priest, Jdg_20:28. These particular iniquities, the Danites' idolatry, and the Benjamites' immorality, let in that general apostasy, Jdg_3:7. The abuse of the Levite's concubine is here very particularly related.  I. Her adulterous elopement from him (Jdg_3:1, Jdg_3:2).  II. His reconciliation to her, and the journey he took to fetch her home (Jdg_3:3).  III. Her father's kind entertainment of him (Jdg_3:4-9).  IV. The abuse he met with at Gibeah, where, being benighted, he was forced to stop.  1. He was neglected by the men of Gibeah (Jdg_3:10-15) and entertained by an Ephraimite that sojourned among them (Jdg_3:16-21).  2. They set upon him in his quarters, as the Sodomites did on Lot's quests (Jdg_3:22-24).  3. They villainously forced his concubine to death (Jdg_3:25-28).  V. The course he took to send notice of this to all the tribes of Israel (Jdg_3:29, Jdg_3:30)."
 
Keil and Delitzsch call it the - "War of the Congregation with the Tribe of Benjamin on Account of the Crime at Gibeah," stating -
 
"This account belongs to the times immediately following the death of Joshua, as we may see form the fact that Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the contemporary of Joshua, was high priest at that time (Jdg_20:28). In Judg 19 we have an account of the infamous crime committed by the inhabitants of Gibeah, which occasioned the war; in Judg 20 the war itself; and in Judg 21 an account of what was afterwards done by the congregation to preserve the tribe of Benjamin, which was almost annihilated by the war."
 
Regarding the near annihilation of Benjamin, we see the providence and sovereignty of God in preserving their existence.  Had God not intervened, there would only be eleven tribes, and thus, the nation of Israel would be deprived of part of their inheritance as twelve tribes. Matthew Henry explains.
 
"God had taken care of every tribe; their number twelve was that which they were known by; every tribe had his station appointed in the camp, and his stone in the high priest's breast-plate; every tribe had his blessing both from Jacob and Moses; and it would be an intolerable reproach to them if they should drop any out of this illustrious jury, and lose one out of twelve, especially Benjamin, the youngest, who was particularl y dear to Jacob their common ancestor, and whom all the rest ought to have been in a particular manner tender of. Benjamin is not; what then will become of Jacob?"
 
With that, let us concentrate on the peculiar similarities between these last three chapters of Judges and the Book of Ruth.
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : CHRIST CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE US!
 
Again, it is no accident the Levite who comes to seek his concubine and the redemption of Ruth both take place in Bethlehem. This is not an "undesigned coincidence" as we might find in other books, since God is the Author of the Bible. Christ our Savior was born in Bethlehem as prophesied. Therefore, it should not surprise us that we find two instances of specific and peculiar redemption located in the same city where the Savior was born.
 
We will not regard the strange giving over of the woman the Levite came to redeem to the ungodly, immoral, and murderous men of Gibeah. Nor will we consider his controversial cutting her in twelve pieces and sending one to each tribe in Israel to bring attention to the deeds of these evil men. However, let us consider his going after a woman who "played the harlot" against him and his speaking friendly to her.
 
Like the story of the Prodigal Son taught by Jesus, we see the Levite seek out his concubine for reconciliation. For any spouse, adultery is a hard matter to overcome. It crushes the heart. However, men have a more difficult time with this sin than woman do on average. Yet, the Levite seeks his concubine, and speaks courteously to her and they are reconciled. Christ came for us in a similar manner.
 
The Apostle Paul is a good example of the tender love of Christ when he wrote -
 
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Chris t Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." [1 Tim 1:12 - 16]
 
Here, the Apostle Paul says he is a "pattern" [an example]. Thayer's lexicon paraphrases this word putting it into the text as - "to show by the example of my conversation that the same grace which I had obtained would not be wanting also to those who should hereafter believe." In other words, if God can forgive the Apostle Paul, He can forgive and will forgive - anyone! Likewise, the Levite shows a pattern of God's grace. The Levite goes after a woman who betrayed him, yet he reconciles her to him through his tender words.
 
With Ruth, we have something just as powerful. It is the law of the kinsman redeemer found in the Mosaic Law. Easton's Bible Dict ionary describes the role of the kinsman - redeemer.
 
Heb. goel, from root meaning to redeem. The goel among the Hebrews was the nearest male blood relation alive. Certain important obligations devolved upon him toward his next of kin.
 
If any one from poverty was unable to redeem his inheritance, it was the duty of the kinsman to redeem it (Lev_25:25, Lev_25:28; Rth_3:9, Rth_3:12). He was also required to redeem his relation who had sold himself into slavery (Lev_25:48, Lev_25:49).
 
God is the Goel of his people because he redeems them (Exo_6:6; Isa_43:1; Isa_41:14; Isa_44:6, Isa_44:22; Isa_48:20; Psa_103:4; Job_19:25, etc.).
 
The goel also was the avenger (q.v.) of blood (Num_35:21) in the case of the murder of the next of kin.
 
Boaz was the second nearest relative to Naomi - Ruth's mother-in-law, and when the first could not redeem Ruth, Boaz did. Therefore, Boaz is a type of Christ. Christ is our kinsman in the He, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us. Christ is not ashamed to call us "brethren" because he partook of flesh and blood and we do. This is why Christ is our kinsman - redeemer.
 
In the 2nd chapter of Hebrews, we have a fulfillment of the kinsman - redeemer in Christ. As God He has the power to redeem. As sinless Man, He has the right to redeem.
 
Heb 2:7  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Heb 2:8  Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto the e. Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
 
Therefore, we have an inheritance through Christ. Redeemed from the poverty of our sin, He has given us His Spirit as a down payment [KJV - "earnest"] that He will return and take all of us to His Kingdom.
 
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
 
Christ has redeemed us, even as Boaz redeemed Ruth. Yet, our inheritance is endless. It is the gift of eternal life. It is the life of God given to us through the redemption of Christ on the cross. We have been "born again" by the seed of the Word of God which, unlike the flesh, is not corruptible.
 
1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1Pe 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1Pe 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 1Pe 1:21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1Pe 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
 
Let us rejoice then in the redemption we have in Christ. He came first to seek us, then to save us!
 
[For additional reading on the Re deemer, Fausett's Bible Dictionary explains in detail the meaning of the goel or redeemer{kinsman}. I have included it here for you - below.]
 
Redeem, Hebrew padhah and gaal. The goel, nearest of kin, had three rights:
 
(1) To purchase back the forfeited inheritance for an Israelite who, through poverty, had sold his land; as Boaz ("might in him"; the name of one of the two temple pillars; a type of Christ) did for Ruth (Rth_4:3-5); or to hold land in possession for an impoverished kinsman until the year of Jubilee, when it should revert to the original owner (Lev_25:10; Lev_25:13-16; Lev_25:24-28). Antitypically, man the heir of all things bartered his magnificent birthright for vanity; Christ, by assuming our manhood, became our go'el, and saved us from being disinherited forever (Heb_2:9-15); the full restoration of the inheritance is to be at "the times of restitution of all things" (Act_3:21; Mat_19:28), the grand last Jubilee (Isa_61:2-4); ushere d in, as the Israelite Jubilee, with the great trumpet (Rev_11:15; 1Co_15:52; 1Th_4:16; Isa_27:13).
 
(2) The goel ransomed his kinsman from bondage to the foreigner (Lev_25:47-49). So man sold himself to Satan's bondage; Jesus has (at the price of His precious blood, 1Pe_1:18-19) ransomed "the lawful captive delivered" (Isa_49:24).
 
(3) The goel avenged the death of his slain kinsman as a point of honor. So our Redeemer "through death has destroyed Satan (man's "murderer from the beginning", Joh_8:44) who had the power of death," and has delivered us from everlasting "bondage" to him (Heb_2:14-15; Hos_13:14). Our Boaz has not "left off His kindness to the living and to the dead" (Rth_2:20); translated Job_19:25-27 "I know that my Redeemer (vindicator, avenger; redressing my wrongs on Satan their inflicter) liveth, and that He shall arise the Last (1Co_15:45; Rev_1:17) above the dust (with which is mingled man's crumbling body: 1Co_15:20 ; 1Co_15:23; Rom_8:23; Eph_1:14), and though after my skin (is destroyed) this (body) is destroyed, yet from my flesh (mibesari; as from a window, Son_2:9) shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself (on my side), no longer estranged" (zar) from me.
 
The redemption of our now weak body will be our grand vindication from present wrongs such as Job's. As the body (not merely the soul) was the sufferer, the body's restoration in incorruption must be the vindication; this alone would disprove the imputation of guilt thrown on Job because of its sufferings. Job elsewhere hoped for the resurrection after his being "hidden in the grave" for a time (Job_14:13-15; Joh_5:21-26; Joh_5:28; Isa_26:19-21; Psa_17:15).
© 2017 Time For Truth Ministries | (518) 843-2121