“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: ‘Praise be to the lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!’ He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given birth.” (Ruth 4:13-15)
Naomi’s friends praised the Lord for fulfilling the law of the kinsman redeemer (Leviticus-28). Boaz was related to Naomi through Naomi’s dead husband Elimelech (2:3, 4:3) and was second in line for the role of kinsman redeemer. He obtained the right of purchase when he first in line refused (4:6). A complex set of circumstances was closely intertwined with the working of prayer. Praise is the proper response to blessings God gives our friends!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of praising God. Some people might have been jealous of Naomi’s good fortune, but her true friends began to praise God in response to the news of Ruth having given birth to a child. This is always the proper response to blessings that God bestows on others. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“No one is too bad to come to church, nor is anyone not too good to stay out!”
“When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.” (1st Samuel 25:39)
David’s faith in God’s willingness to take His own vengeance was justified. Seeing God bring justice should lead to praise. Gloating over an enemy’s defeat and death is not proper praise.
“The crowds that went before him and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of he Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest.’” (John 12:13)
Do you remember the readings on Palm Sunday? Do you also remember how elated you felt listening to the people praising Jesus as He entered Jerusalem, especially since He had been under attack from the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious authority? This scene is one of praise and thanksgiving, as Jesus gave them the sign from Isaiah, of the long awaited for Messiah. The people loved Jesus for He had healed many and had taught and preached in their community. Sadly, it did not last long fore it too often resembled for political and physical deliverance rather than for the fulfillment of God’s purposes.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open and every body’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he though the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, ‘Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!’” (Acts 16:25-28)
God can accomplish the same miraculous result through different methods. This prison release mentions no messenger at all. The earthquake occurred as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns at midnight. The prison was probably an underground dungeon; their feet and hands were bound to hooks anchored in the mortar between the stones. As the foundations began to crumble, the anchors gave way, and the prisoner were freed. The earthquake was God’s means of effecting their release. A miracle salvation for a frightened jailer.
The jailer was awestruck that not one prisoner left the jail and he attributed the miracle to Jesus Christ. In fact, he and his whole family were baptized immediately they were so affected by the event. The earthquake had shaken the foundations of the prison, but it brought forth true belief in Jesus Christ and the response was to become Christians and to praise His Holy Name. Amazing, right?