9: 50 Days of 3:16

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Photo cropped from an image at frankyansacramento.com

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

I

8: 50 Days of 3:16

Israel was called into the land God had promised. After Joshua had been gone the people easily strayed away from God. They easily adopted the practices of those communities around them, being sponges instead of being salt and light to the world around them. This made it hard for God to bless them as they were ignoring Him for other things. So, God anointed Judges to turn the people back to Him. This worked for a time but eventually, the next generation would grow up and make the same mistakes of their parents. This cycle is prevalent all throughout the book of Judges.

 

Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit[d] long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.

Judges 3:16

 

We meet Ehud in chapter 3 at a time, once again, where Israel has turned their backs on God once again. When this happens we almost always see oppression from the enemies that seduced Israel to their gods and ways. The very thing they longed for was no being their hardship. This happens to us even today. Many times, the things we seek after when we finally receive them they are not what we expected and now have control over us. Drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, fame, fortune to name a few.

 

Who was Ehud? Well, we know the first thing that it was important to tell us he was left-handed. Why is this important? Well, it would have set him apart from the people. It wasn’t normal then to be left-handed, it could have been a sign of sin or being set apart by God. We do not have a definitive answer but we do know that he was different.  We also know he was confident in what he was called to do. To strap a 18inch sword to your leg knowing full well you were intent of assassinating the oppressors king takes much courage and determination. Read on in the chapter to see how Ehud accomplished his mission.

 

We are called by God to do great things. No, I don’t believe He is calling people today to be assassins. The days of Judges are over, and we have been given a new mission. We are oppressed and put through hardships, but our weapon today is love. When we are told about the armour of God there are many pieces, but only one weapon. This weapon is the World of God. The Bible. We use the powerful words inside to reveal the hope that is Christ Jesus to the world. Are you ready to listen to what God is calling you to? You are a son or daughter of the King who is calling you to reach out to the hurting around you. You have giftings that only you can do that will help bring people to know Him. He promised strength through the Holy Spirit. Talk with Him, He knows all about you and wants to use you in this mission.

 

Father, we keep following the example of the Israelites and turning from you to chase after what the world has to offer. Forgive us for this, break this cycle in our hearts so that we can be effective in reaching those around us who need to know you. Let our example be that of one who loves you and is open to your voice. Holy Spirit guide us in where we need to go, who we need to talk to, provide us with wisdom and knowledge that we could never have obtained unless it is from You. We want to be effective Christians. Amen

7: 50 Days of 3:16

We hear the word miracle and our minds quickly move to Jesus and the amazing things He did while on the earth. But miracles were happening all the way back in the beginning. The Holy Spirit though not indwelling in all those who accepted Jesus, was still at work before Jesus times. We see his first appearance in Genesis 1 where it reads ‘the Spirit of God hovered over the waters’. Here in Joshua, we see the children of Israel experienced a miracle that they had heard about but would have never experienced. Their parents or grandparents had fled Egypt and had crossed the Red Sea on dry land. Here they were about to do the same thing.

 

The water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea[c] until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.

Joshua 3:16

 

Moses has passed away and Joshua is leading the people into the promised land. They had already taken the land on this side of the Jordan, leaving behind the families of two tribes but requesting the men come and fight till all Israel had a home. Standing on the shores of the Jordan they could have taken the long route to go around finding a narrow bend or safer location to cross. As we read a few verses before the waters of the Jordan were gorged as it was flooded. To be in that crowd of people and hear Joshua cry forward into the water, would have been quite a scene. In faith, the priests carrying the Ark, the ‘home’ of God among His people, went in first. The waters began to open up as if divided by unseen hands, a mile one way and a mile the other. The riverbed exposed for the whole people and livestock to travel through.

 

The priest carrying the Ark moved to the middle of the river and waited until all had passed. This indicates that every man, woman, and child had to have passed the Ark and those carrying it. This was important as to show them that it was God who made this happen. It did not say Joshua was in the middle God waited in the middle to ensure all His people made it through safely. God is right there with you in the middle of whatever is happening in your life. Do not be fooled into thinking He is elsewhere not interested in what is happening to you. There very well could be a miracle happening all around you and you are just unaware as you follow the crowd through the river.

 

The last point I want to pull out of this verse is that when they arrived on the shore in the promised land they are right next to their first obstacle, Jericho. If you do not know why the city of Jericho was an issue I suggest you continue reading the next few chapters. But a quick review is that Jericho was a city with massive fortifications. Nothing that this wandering army had ever seen or had the weaponry to defeat yet God was calling them to take this city. Even worse the people had more than likely seen the river split or had heard reports of this mass of people coming from the river and were on high alert prepared for what was coming. So the Israelites came out of a miracle and directly into a problem. Expect in your life that when we do experience miracles that almost right away we may be challenged in some way that will make us question why we do what we do. The Israelites started asking why they had even bothered crossing to come to such adversity they could never overcome on their own. They lost sight of what God did almost as soon as the river splashed back into place. God is calling us to keep our eyes on Him and not the obstacle. As you will read God provided another miracle when the Israelites obeyed his direction. You can overcome your obstacles if you just ask and listen to God’s directions.

 

Father, there are many obstacles we come across in life, we believe you have the answer to them all. You can give us the tools to overcome or you can provide a miracle that no one can explain. Help us to see you in the miracle and give you all the glory. When adversity comes out the way we pray that the same power the Holy Spirit gave to split the sea or calm the waves or raise the dead will be empowered to us so that your name is lifted high. Use us to reach the lost and share your love and faithfulness to this world. Amen

6: 50 Days of 3:16

Here in the fifth book of the Bible, we see the armies of Israel on the border of the Jordan River ready to cross over and take the rest of the land God had promised them. Two tribes were given this side of the Jordan.

 

But to the Reubenites and the Gadites, I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites

Deuteronomy 3:16

 

Forty years of wandering and they had made it this far. The people were tired but excited to finally have arrived. As they conquered the land on one side of the Jordan the two tribes of Israel who were to settle this land were probably feeling like their journey was over, they had arrived. If we continue reading God commands that all able-bodied men from these two tribes must continue on and help clear the remainder of the land. I would expect there may have been some grumbling from those men as they want to establish homes for their wives and livestock who would have to wait. They also had to trust God that the Ammonites on their new border would not take advantage of the situation and invade taking all their women, children and livestock.

 

God had brought them to the land as promised and asked for just a little more before they could settle down. He was showing them that all the family is important. Just as Jesus taught about the body of believers here all the tribes were important. They had to work together for all the land to be conquered. How can this then relate to us as believers? We are a family. Even if I receive what God is blessing me with I can expect that He is asking me to help others. We are not living this journey alone and we need to rely on each other. There may be risks involved, like leaving our family’s seemingly unprotected but trusting that God will protect them from adversity. The rewards for obeying God outweigh the consequences of disobedience. James 4:17 reads ‘Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it’. If the two tribes had turned to Joshua and said ‘sorry dude, you got enough men we will not follow you across the border’ I don’t think God would have been pleased with their choice.

 

Are you listening to what God is asking you to do today? Has God given you much and now asking you to do more? What is it that you are hesitating to give God or od for Him? If what He is asking you to do is uncomfortable and feels like if you do it everything will fall apart, you need to trust that He has a plan, he will protect. He doesn’t desire that you suffer but wants you to bless you for your obedience.

 

Father, today there are some reading this who are hesitating to follow the direction you are leading them. Maybe they have been given a word of where to go, the job to take or who not to have a relationship with. They are scared of what they may lose by choosing your direction. I pray that they will see that by choosing to follow you they will gain so much more. Give them the strength and wisdom to choose you. Help us as believers to work the mission of reaching others in our daily walk and keep strong in our faith no matter what the adversity. Amen

5: 50 Days of 3:16

Numbers is a book where may skim over as it is well numbers. Why would this book be important in the grand scheme of things? It actually contains some interesting facts about the forty years the Israelites spent in the wilderness. Yes, it is bookended by two censuses of the people but it gives you insight into how they grew as a people despite wandering around in the desert.   

 

So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord

Numbers 3:16

 

Many times in the bible we see God commanding his Kings and people not to count their people. But in Numbers, a census is taken, and in this verse, we find that Moses is counting the house of Levi. Why would this have any significance? Well, the house of Levites were chosen to be the tribe that served the priests in the temple. They ultimately became the church attendants. From tear down to set up they were prepared to do what was needed to ensure that the house of God was ready.

 

We may not have ‘Levites’ but today we have those who serve the church faithfully. They make sure the church is ready each Sunday for worship. Some churches have to be set up and torn down each week as they have decided to use schools and auditoriums to make this happen. These people who work tirelessly each week sometimes go overlooked. Maybe it is your worship team who puts countless hours in to provide music for the service. The tribe of Levi accepted this responsibility not expecting anything in return. Those who serve your church do so with no expectation of reward. But when was the last time you took the time to thank them for their service? Taking the time to build someone up and thank them for their service can rejuvenate and recharge someone who may be unknowingly feeling tired.

 

We do not need to go around counting the numbers of workers, but what if we started appreciating those who do the jobs no one else wants to do. The nursery workers, users, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, janitors. This work all needs to be completed and each one is a work unto God. Take some time today to thank someone who invests in kingdom building and helps make your church run smoothly. You may not realize how much a thank you can change someone’s life.

 

Father, thank you for those in our churches who work countless hours unnoticed. Their reward is in heaven but helps us to appreciate them here on earth for being obedient. Bless their unwavering dedication to serving. Give us a place to serve in our church if we are currently not serving. Use us o reach the lost and build your kingdom. Amen

4: 50 Days of 3:16

I wondered when I decided to start this 3:16 journey how many random verses may appear that by themselves may not mean a whole lot. Here is an example whereby itself this verse alone does not make a much sense on its own but that is why when you read your bible we should not just read a verse alone but dig into the surrounding story. I may cherry pick out scriptures in my blogging, but there is the hope that it will lead the reader back to where the verse is and explore what is happening around it.

 

the priest will burn them on the altar. It is a special gift of food, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. All the fat belongs to the Lord.

Leviticus 3:16

 

During the time Moses was leading the people in the wilderness he was helping establish a way for the people to worship God. God gave him wisdom and knowledge on how to sacrifice animals to atone for the people sins. To us looking at the practice we see it as barbaric and messy.  Sacrifices were done in such a way that they provided for those who made the sacrifice and generated a sin penance to God. Not any animal could be sacrificed, certain ones were to be avoided. Eve in the list of the acceptable there were those with blemishes or injured that would be unacceptable. Only perfection would be accepted.

 

All this was created to show man that if they tried on their own it was nearly impossible to keep up. Some picture that the sacrificial altar of God at some points was being used 24/7. They tried to keep up with the sacrifices but the people kept sinning against God. They forgot the God they served and would chase after other gods who brought them farther away from God’s plan for them. The sin offering was a mandatory offering that was expected for all the people. This offering was called a peace offering and it was offered in worship. Just as the tithe is expected this offering was a gift to God thanking him for his peace.

 

Our worship to God is important. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice so that we would not have to work to get to heaven. He removed the need to provide animal sacrifices to cleanse our sins. Our worship needs to reflect our thankfulness for this. Daily we must give time to Him in worship thanking Him for what He has done for us. Just as the priest could only sacrifice the best animals, I wonder are we giving God the best time when we worship or are we working to squeeze Him into our busy lives?

 

Father, thank you for sending your Son the perfect sacrifice. You showed us what it would take to do this on our own and we just cannot do it. Forgive us for not giving you the best of us, we want to live all in. Hep us to give you our time and use it wisely. Show us Your will for our lives, speak to us. We want to reach the lost and show them that You love them and want to have a relationship with them. Amen.

3: 50 Days of 3:16

How many times is God calling you talk to someone around you? Do you have to boldness to step out of your comfort zone and speak to them? Or do you cower under your fear not sure why God would be asking you to say anything? Here in Exodus, we get to listen in to the conversation between God and Moses. God has met Moses in the wilderness speaking to him through the burning bush I would hope if God showed up in my life speaking through a burning bush I would listen.

 

 “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you.“

Exodus 3:16

 

Moses self-described himself as an introvert. Each time God asked him to go lead the people out of Egypt and speak to Pharaoh he would ask God to send someone else or send him help. Many might surmise he was trying to avoid doing what God had called him to. Moses may have felt unworthy of the task he was given. He had not left Egypt on the best of circumstances and the people of Israel, in his eyes, thought of him as no different than those who were oppressing them.

 

We are reminded here that God is concerned with what is happening to His people he created. For those who think God doesn’t care about humans on this earth have truly never read the bible. Here and all over we see that God wants to have a relationship with all mankind and deals with the oppression of those who love him.

 

How would you respond if God called you to speak to the leaders of your nation, province, state, city or community? If God told you that he wanted you to gather the leaders and tell them that what they are doing to the people of God is wrong and they need to repent. Moses was not a public speaker. He had no reason to be listened to by Pharaoh, God empowered him with the Holy Spirit with boldness and courage to make a stand. Jesus spoke with boldness and confidence, He also promised that the same power and works that He did we can do to. Jesus calls us to go into the world and tell them about the love that God has for them. About forgiveness, He has provided by His sacrifice on the cross.

 

We may never experience a burning bush moment, or Gods voice audible. But God speaks to us every day in our reading of the Bible, prayers and worship. That voice in our head guiding us may sound like our own voice but if we listen closely we realize that it is in tune with God’s will and He is speaking to us. What is God asking you to do today?

 

Father, we thank you that you are still speaking to us today. As we dig deep into our bibles, take time to pray and worship you we ask direction in what is next. Give us courage and boldness to share your love with those around us. Let us not ignore what you are calling us to do. Use us. Amen

2: 50 Days of 3:16

To summarize to this point in the Bible. God creates the world, each day calling his creation good. On the sixth day he creates men and woman and calls them very good. He gives them responsibilities and freedoms to maintain and look after everything on the earth. Eat from any tree but keep away from one as it is forbidden to eat from it. Deception through a snake and human curiosity got the better of them and they partook in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. God knew this had happened yet gave them an opportunity to fess up, yet they know eyes open to good and evil, choose to hide and then play the blame game. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake. The snake doesn’t get to defend himself. God seeing the role the serpent had played determined his fate first. He then turned to Eve;

 

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16

 

Right then and there God could have wiped mankind out. It would have been easy, and he could have started over. Yet this shows us that God is in it for the long game, he wasn’t surprised that man had fallen. I believe God gives us choices for a reason, He knew both results hoping that his creation would choose one over the other but He had a plan in place. The order He deals out the punishment for the sinful act is important. He promises when dealing with the snake that a seed from Eve would crush the snake for what it had done. This promise was important in that when it was Eve’s turn and she was told that childbirth was going to be severe and labor painful there was hope that one day there would be redemption for what they had done. Childbirth would be a reminder of the choice she had made for all future generations.

 

The second part of this verse is often misused and misquoted. Many an aggressive husband or controlling one will take this and use it as an excuse to do things that no man should ever do. Being married for 17 years I can see the importance of why this verse is important in the union of man and woman. We often use the word love to express how we feel but it has become cheapened to the point that we can just fall out of love and end relationships. The desire that God sets in place here is a passion for her husband that keeps her there through thick and thin. When times are tough she doesn’t run out. When the ‘love’ is dried up she doesn’t go off looking for love in all the wrong places. This isn’t just her part to play, the man is to rule over her. Not with an iron fist and a list of rules, but as a protector, lover, a man full of respect for his wife. He needs to know his wife intimately understanding her needs and desires. He must be a leader who knows his family and doesn’t give up on them but fights for them daily.

 

Adam or men didn’t get off any easier, read the next few verses and you will see that man got a bigger earful then woman. But in the end, they left the creator together. They weren’t separated they needed one another. We need one another. Your husband needs you wife. You wife needs you husband. Do not give up on one another. God hasn’t given up on you.

 

Father, watch over us. Protect us from the lies of the enemy whose desire is to distract us from following you. He caught Adam and Eve in the garden and even today he is working to keep us away from experiencing you. We want a relationship with you, thank you for restoring this relationship through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Let us walk with you and learn your ways. Use us to help others find this freedom that is only found in you, Amen

1: 50 Days of 3:16

No other verse in the bible is so well known than John 3:16. Just flashing that number on a board will invoke the thought of the scripture to most individuals. The enemy works hard to corrupt what God has made beautiful and we see this in the way entertainment mainly the WWE (Wrestling) took this number and associated with a foul-mouthed character like Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shirts, banners and homemade posters all shout out ‘Austin 3:16’ like the man has written some important quote that we must look up. Some may say that it is unintentional and nothing to do with the bible. Maybe, but one has to wonder when we see that number now how many think of this wrestler over the bible. Has entertainment reprogramed many of that generation? He even trademarked this as his own property.

 

When we actually look at John 3:16 and see what Jesus has done for us it brings us to a place of awe and wonder. How could God give up his own son to die for us? We believe that Jesus when He died took the devil and put him in his place. At this moment this could be where the devil got the line that he gave Stone Cold, as Jesus shifted the power back to mankind. He gave them a way out from sin that was clear and easy, a way for them to be freed from the enemy. 3:16 may be trademarked by a wrestler but the message of 3:16 points us to the King of Kings.

 

Over the next 50 days, we will be looking throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation at the 3:16’s it contains. I would love your input and thoughts each day as we explore them together.

 

Father, thank you for sending your son to make the ultimate sacrifice that we may have life and a relationship with you. Open the hearts of those who need to meet you. Give us the courage and boldness to share our faith with others. Let fear be removed and use us. Amen