Tag Archives: Boaz

SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER

Christians have written so much concerning Easter and its significance. However, the ceremonial aspect rather than the spiritual, to my mind, has, and continued to be held in high esteem. It is like chasing shadow instead of substance. Why was there any need for Easter? We have all sinned in Adam and Eve, in view of God’s curse placed on the couple for disobedience. God’s undying love for his creation made him find a means of redeeming his hand-made children. The bible told us he would send a redeemer. This had been prophesied by Prophet Isaiah  about four hundred years earlier before the actual birth of Christ.  The birth of Christ bore credence to the prophesies on the coming MESSIAH and so in the Gospel of John we get to know the clear reason for Easter for Christ was born to die for the sins of mankind. Roman 3: 23-25 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate the righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness”. In conclusion, the reason for Easter is to keep in remembrance the sacrifice Christ made to redeem mankind. He was the sacrificial lamb to cleanse us of all our iniquities, thereby made us entitled to dwelling with Him in God’s kingdom. In the gospel of John, he states: (“For God so loved the world, that  he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth  on him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16 (ASV)

If we look at human historical past in the Garden of Eden, man fell prey to the deception of the serpent’s most unsuspecting enticing statement Genesis 3: 1-7. Quoting the most significant parts of the discussion with the serpent where it succeeded in leading Eve to tasting the forbidden fruit, “Is it really true that God said,, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?” Response: “We may eat from the fruits from the trees of the orchard. But concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it or else you will die,'” By a negative reinforcement, “Surely you will not die” the did was done to their significant damnation. Sins continue to multiply to such an alarming proportion that God decided to wipe out the then world with the deluge. He saw that Noah was worthy and he commissioned him to build the salvation ark that accommodated man and all species of plants and animals. Noah restarted the new generation but soon began to sin again to a time when God found Abram (later Abraham) faithful enough to be a patriarch for  a special ‘People of God’ later to be known as the Israelites. God separated him from his heathen root and was given instruction to head for a place He would show him. Abraham obeyed absolutely. He however had an “ADD ON” in person of Lot who was not part of the mandate. While  Abraham pursued path of righteousness Lot went along the high life of SODOM and GOMORRAH. Sin re- entered and continue to be compounded. Four hundred years in slavery in Egypt and Moses emerged by divine providence to deliver them. The Passover feast was instituted to mark their liberation from Egypt followed by the forty years of wilderness experiences.

 

On return to the promised land, the Israelites continued to worship other gods beside Yahweh. Between Joshua and up to the time of King David there were intermittent emergence of few good judges. After King David, scale of sins of the ‘People of God’ outweighed their righteousness. It resulted in period of seventy years in exile. During the particular period of apostasy, major and minor prophets came to the scene bearing  God’s warning. These prophets delivered messages of hope about the coming of a Messiah to be called EMMANUEL meaning (God with us). Prophet Isaiah was at the  forefront of giving vivid description of birth  and particularly onerous task of going to be the sacrificial lamb that should carry the burden of man’s sin. His blood was to be for cleansing the sins and iniquities of the human race not just the Jews only. As an eternal being, His blood would remain fresh through eternity to serve the purpose for which God sent Him.

During the baptism of Jesus, in John 3: 16-17 and Mark 1: 10-11, we learnt that He was designated as God’s dear Son in whom God was delighted and going through the gospels it was clear that God asked the Jews to “Hear Ye Him”. The following passages are important for our understanding of the mission of Jesus on earth. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God” Romans 5: 8 “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. and Romans 6: 23 “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” the resurrection of Jesus from the grave is a culmination of past redemption attempts from Noah’s Ark, Passover lamb sacrificed in Egypt to avert the plagues in Egypt Exodus 12: 1-end detailed out the origin of the feast of unleavened bread to bring about release from bondage. It is not out of the ordinary to believe that the blood of animals and birds that were hitherto considered enough to wipe off humanities’ sin before God became ineffective or no more efficacious for the need to reconcile man with God. In ordinary sense, the owner of any vineyard needed to receive feedback from his husband men without any reprisal to his servants sent. So was the situation that the major and minor prophets were telling the people who Moses and Aaron described as hard-hearted.

As the last sent to bear the consequence of the sins of People of God, Christ was also to bring even Gentiles to God’s grace provided they could have faith in HE that was sent. HE whose blood was spilled instead of animals and birds’ blood for remission of sins became the ultimate sacrifice that has ensured the lost Paradise in Adam and Eve is regained in Christ Jesus. The period set aside for Easter is to be for sober reflection over the agony of the redeemer to pay the debt for the sins of man before HE could reconcile us with God. our Lord Christ Jesus is the mystery of God’swisdom which remains unfathomable to mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Providence of God (Part Two)

In Part One, we concluded that God is Jehovah Jireh. HE is the eternal provider of both spiritual and physical needs of all that HE created. God Loves our obedience and penitence which are part of basic ingredients of man’s relationship with HIM. When man loves God with his body soul and spirit, man will love to praise and worship HIM. These will show in his mercy, grace and compassion that will be freely showered on the people. Proverb 21:1 says “The KIngs heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will. his shows that HE can punish or reward man’s actions. God HAS given His rules and regulations i.e. The Ten Commandments as guide to the children of Israel to be able to obey and worship the true God of Israel so as tobe able to enjoy bountiful providence of God. Contrary wise, He has also made for unleashing negative sanction gross disobedient actions, mainly that of worshipping Baal or any man-made god. Jeremiah 16:1-13. (KJV)

We can also say that providence does depend on man’s input that gives output that is better than the input. Psalm 1: 1-3 is an example of such; “Blessed is the man who worketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in  the seat of scornful. But His delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in his law doth he and in HIS law does He meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth its fruit in his season; his leaf shall not whither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper” (KJV). Jehovah the Almighty, though He knows our needs from time to time and makes provision for them as well but will always frown at us  when man consciously commits sin, the chief of which is when he decides to worship man-made gods, that is what he cannot tolerate. When those who should know refuse to know, God always makes, wicked rulers to first conquer them, enslave them and later use the wicked ruler to restore to their land without paying him a dime for the freedom granted them. Ezra ,the Scribe received such providence for the Israelites.

Prophet Isaiah in chapter 45: 12-13,  the Lord’s warning: “I have the earth, and created man upon it; I even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have i commanded. I have raised him (KIng Cyrus) up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways, he shall my city, and let go my captives . not for a price nor rewards, saith the Lord of Host” (KJV) This was also amply demonstrated in Ezra 7: 1-10, where God impressed it upon the heart of the King to grant Ezra his request to go and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes gave his endorsement to Ezra’s mission. The providence of God came as a result of what the king had noticed in Ezra all along that he was a devoted scribe skilled in te Law of Moses; not only that he studied the laws but also obeyed the laws of the God of Israel. He also had plans to tech the statutes and judgement in Israel.

Providence also involved first seeking, believing and trusting God to bring His blessings that money cannot buy. In Ruth 2: 11-12, we learnt in the statement of Boaz made: “And Boaz answered and said to her, it has fully been showed me, all tat thou has done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thy husband; and how you have left thy father and thy mother and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people thou knowest heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust”. Be it recalled that the Jews despised the Moabites who do not worship the God of Israel. Bible scholars have written that the Moabites were descendants of Lot who was a nephew of Abraham a Jewish Patriarch. Ruth believed in the God of the Israelites. Her trust in Naomi, indicated her trust in Naomi’s God. By divine providence she became a great ancestral grandmother to Jesse and David from whose lineage our Lord Jesus came. Remember, Christ came to save the lost souls and to restore them into God’s kingdom. It is an apt demonstration of the providence of God. The Good News as brought by Jesus Christ is God’s providence designed to reconcile man Jehovah, The Almighty God.

Non-Carnal Love Series # 10

Love of Christ is love of God

God holds the world together in love

The pathway to divine love or genuine love, according to man’s standard, can be rugged but whoever endures to the end without opting out midway will be the type of person to enjoy the positive outcome and by the will of God be able to gain eternal life world without end. Ruth, a Moabite who did not belong to any part of the twelve tribes of Israel got married to Naomi’s son. Both husband and the two sons died leaving Naomi as a widow with two daughters-in-law.

Naomi, an Ephraimite of Bethlehem, Judah would have returned all alone to her native land but for the priceless love Ruth had for her as mother-in-law to whom she swore to remain until death separated them. Ruth’s sense of dignity followed her to the land of Judah. As a young widow, she was virtuous in comportment in Boaz’s barley field where Jewish tradition allowed her to glean after the major harvest. Naomi followed the tradition scrupulously to legitimize getting Ruth married to Boaz, one of the next of kin to Elimelech, her dead husband.

God judges the heart and not physical attributes or skin color. HE has no consideration for nationality, religion or physical prowess before exercising his sovereignty. Whoever loves his neighbor as himself without counting the cost loves God and will reward the person accordingly. This was the portion of Ruth,  a heathen from Moab, who became an essential part of Jesus’s lineage from Salmon with Rehab (the harlot as wife) to Boaz to Obed to Jesse and to King David. What a divine grace on Ruth.                 The Book of Ruth Chapters 1 – 4