“For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)
“Rescue” (Hebrew – ga’al) may be translated “redeems.” God redeems the weak and needy from death. Their life is precious to Him. From the book of Ruth 2:20 (“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.”) we learn that Israel had laws relating to kinsman redeemers (Hebrew – ga’ el).
The redeemer avenged wrong, redeemed from slavery and debt, and provided family continuity for widows. Boaz was acting in that capacity when he redeemed Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi. That is why Ruth the Moabitess was included in the genealogy of Jesus.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, when Jesus’ disciples found themselves in need of help, they selected 7 men of strong faith and character and laid hands on them as deacons in the church. Thus, the disciples had more time to devote to study of Scripture and preaching and teaching the people, and the deacons took on the widows and orphans and lost and needy, making sure they had food to eat and means to survive Stephen was the first deacon who was martyred, and as he was being stoned to death, You opened up the curtain of heaven and he was able to see what we all hope to see. At that point, he forgave those who were stoning him. Help us to remember the specific tasks of those ordained, that each in their own way, combine their efforts with the others to preach, teach, take care of the needs of the church on the inside and out in the community. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Hem your day with prayer and it will be less apt to ravel at the edges.”
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you; whom you have received from God? Your not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body..” (1st Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Holy Spirit lives in holy people. God gave the Spirit to Christians, and He lives in the whole church as God’s temple. The Christian as a temple indwelt by the Spirit must not do anything that would be unthinkable in public worship. We were slaves to sin, but God bought us with the death of His Son on the cross. Thus, we belong to Do and should serve Him alone.
“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—-now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews9:12-15)
Through Christ’s death believers share an eternal redemption. Hes death was a ransom from sin. Ransom is an image which has to do with a slave or prison. It comes from ancient economic life and means payment of a price. Persons lost their freedom. They forfeited their lives and could not free themselves. Someone came along and paid the price to redeem them. A ransom was provided. This is the context in which Christ should be seen as Redeemer. He delivers His people from bondage to sin and all other masters. He paid the price of His own life in the crucifixion to make possible our freedom to live life as God created and intended it.
Second Thought of the Day:
“And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the son except the elect who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the lamb wherever he goes. They were purchases from among men and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:3–4)
Twenty-eight times this book of the Bible calls Jesus the Lamb of God. Undergirding that image is the idea of Christ as a sacrifice on he cross for sin. In this passage, the lamb stands on Mount Zion and receives the praise of all the redeemed. God’s great redemption through Christ is worthy of all praise from all His creatures.
The eternal gospel calls for all persons everywhere to fear God and worship Him. God the Redeemer is also the Creator and Judge. There is an awesomeness about salvation which we dare not overlook.