Covered: Judges 6-7, 13-16; Ruth 1-4
Not Covered: Judges 5, 8-12, 17-21
Scripture Memory: His Strength – Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:13
Keep reading! Keep listening! Keep taking time to journal. Ask God to use his Word to speak to you and strengthen you.
This week we will be reading Judges 6-7, 13-16; Ruth 1-4. Ruth takes place during the time of the events of Judges. Likely, during a disciplinary famine during the time of the judge Gideon.
When we read the book of Judges we are hit by is rawness, especially after the victories recorded in the book of Joshua. As one writer put it, “Sex and violence, rape and massacre, brutality and deceit do not seem to be congenial materials for use in developing a story of salvation.” But that is what we see in the book of Judges. The telling condition of the people of this time is captured in the phrase, “Israel had no King and everyone did as they saw fit!” (17:6, 21:25). The book ends with this as the last sentiment heading into Ruth’s story. It ends with this seemingly hopeless statement only to lead into Ruth’s story where we’re reminded that God is always at work…
When there are no ethical or moral boundaries, when nothing is right or wrong — or everything is right in the eyes of the beholder, we can begin to wonder where God is. As the carefreeness of others slashes up against us, forcing us to deal with their boundary-less lives, we might even begin to ask: Does God care? He does. He did during the time of the judges. Sending less than perfect people, to rescue again and again His rebellious children when they called out for Him.
“God, it turns out,
doesn’t require good people in order to
do good work,” says Eugene Peterson when discussing those rescuing judges.
But God in his grace used these judges to rescue a continually,
habitually and seemingly resolutely rebellions people. Sound like any people you know? God
is always at work…
The fact that he could use these imperfect people to rescue has to give us some hope that he could use us!
Then, in the beautiful story of redemption found in Ruth, we see God is always at work again.This time through the life of a faith-fill foreigner, Ruth. She received God’s grace in her redemption. But more than that God used her. This widow-outsider would be the great grandmother of Israel’s King David!
God was always at work during the times of the Judges — disciplining, rescuing, listening… even when everything felt like it was falling off the truck, coming apart at the seams, and crumbling with moral decay, God was always at work bringing His salvation story to light. So, if your circumstances feel like everyone around you is doing whatever they see fit, remember God is King! And He is still at work.
Likewise, if you feel like your life is insignificant or unimpressive, remember: God is all about using the ordinary to make His fame great in this world. Paul said it this way in 1 Cor. 1:27 (NIV), But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He can use you in the life of your family and neighbors. We don’t have to be special or perfect; we simply have to be available to Him! Remember, even if you can’t see it, or imagine it, feel it or understand how He is doing it, God is always at work!
Written by: Kevin McKee