Bible Study - Sermon / Scripture Devotion

A Picture of Christ in the Old Testament – Chapter Five – In the History Books – The Kings – Ruth – part 3

This is New Study I developed here at Faith Baptist Church on Wednesday Nights.  I’d love to hear what you think.

So … 1 Kings 19 … Elijah

We find an interesting encounter with a man in the depths of depression … but how did he get there

In 17:1 Elijah prophesied to the King of Israel, Ahab.  This is the northern Kingdom which NEVER worshiped God after splitting from Judah.  He prophesied

1 Kings 17:1 (NIV84)  Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

Why? 16:29 Ahab became King and

1 Kings 16:30 (NIV84)Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.

He considered the evil of kings before him as trivial and “married Jezebel”.. Her name means “unchaste, without obligation, unmarried”.  Make what you will of that but most say this was not a marriage covenant with God, but a joining of two evil hearts and lives.  It was not a true marriage before God.

Ahab erected altars to Baal and Asherah v33 then says

1 Kings 16:33 (NIV84) Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.

He rebuilt Jericho …

Joshua 6:26 (NIV84)At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: “At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates.”

And so he lost his firstborn while laying the foundation and his youngest when he finished.  But he didn’t care and pushed on all the way through building his idol to himself.  He continued IN GOD’S FACE.

So … God took away the Rain and the Dew

But what does the prophet do now?

1 Kings 17:2–6 (NIV84)Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

God will care for his own.  He is provision in the dry times … the brook in the wilderness.

But then the brook dried up.  So God’s Word came vv8-9 – “Go At Once to Zarephath”

“Would you bring me a little water” … he says to a widow … “and some bread”

V 12 “I don’t have any bread … only a handful of flour and a little oil … a few sticks … make a meal … we will eat and die”

Have you ever made a list for God?  flour, oil, sticks, cook … die …

V13 he says “don’t be afraid … do as I have said … but make me a small cake 1st … then something for you and your son”

OH REALLY … Wait there is more

V14 for this is what the Lord says “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land”

V15 so there was food each day for Elijah, the woman, and her family

V17 her son died … REALLY … But Elijah prayed and he was restored .

Reminds me of the passage we will preach on Sunday John 11 … “Lord if you had been here … Lazarus wouldn’t be dead” But Jesus said “I am the Resurrection and the Life”

So … then … still NO RAIN …

So then in Chapter 18 one of the greatest encounters in History.  A place I still want to see in Israel.  Elijah challenges 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah to a God Contest.

They fail …

Elijah Prays in v36 after building an altar and dousing it in Water …

1 Kings 18:36–37 (NIV84)At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

1 Kings 18:38–39 (NIV84)Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

It hasn’t rained in three years but in v41 Elijah says to Ahab … you better run because there is the sound of heavy rain

So he goes back on top of Carmel … bows down, head between knees … He tells his servant to look toward the sea and look for rain … Nothing … just blue water and blue skies

6 times … nothing … but the 7th time … a cloud the size of a man’s hand rising …

Hitch up your chariots before the rain stops you

V45 black clouds, wind rose, a heavy rain came and Ahab rode for Jezreel …

V46 the power of the Lord came upon Elijah … and he ran 25 miles, a marathon and beat Ahab to Jezreel.

Wow God is Great … God is Amazing … I can do ANYTHING with Him … RIGHT …

But wait

The greatest lows come often after our greatest highs. Previously he ran in victory … now he’s going to run for his life. Jezebel threatens his life and 19:3 – Elijah was Afraid …

I know after I preach I am completely drained so I can’t imagine Elijah now.  He has had this encounter with the prophets of Baal and prayed for rain, and run a marathon … he is Spent …

But in FEAR he runs 150 miles to drop off his servant and then traveled another day to Beer-Sheba where he is IN the DESERT and he finds a Juniper Shrub a Broom Tree and it is a SINGLE tree … And he Prayed … Ok … Finally … The Last time he prayed God sent the first Rain in 3 years, just before that he called down Fire from heaven …

This TIME … he prayed that he might DIE.  Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t always answer our prayers?  I have had enough Lord … take my life”  then he lay down and fell asleep

Well I guess so …

Behold an angel touched him … Behold or All at once … The word hinneh can mean “look, lo, or certainly”.  This being in no uncertain terms a TOUCH nagá = to touch violently, to strike”  He smacked weary Elijah and says “arise and eat”  and there was Hot Bread and a Jar of Water.

And he slept some more

V7 The Angel of the Lord came back.  “get up and eat for the journey is too much for you”

Who baked that bread for Elijah?  The same one who said “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  And So … there beside him fresh baked bread and fresh water … not a glass but a JAR …

Aren’t you glad our Lord is a God of all comfort?

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest

Like the breakfast in John 21. Like the fish he commanded into the empty nets of the fishermen.  Like the cakes at the widow’s house and the ravens at the brook …

He is a God of all comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV84)Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

You just THINK you have had a time … the Journey has just begun …40 days he traveled on to Mt Horeb / Sinai.  Wouldn’t you like to know about those 40 days and nights?  But some things are just between man and God.

And the Word of the Lord came to him

What are you doing here?

Where?  In a Cave on Mt Sinai.

Hmmm could it be that it is the same cave where Moses stood and God covered him with his hand before revealing his Glory? Hmmm

 

Here? Physically

Here? Emotionally

Here? Spiritually

How did he get here?

V10 I have been zealous for the Lord … I am the Only One … they want to kill me

V11 Go out and stand … for the Lord is about to pass by

 

Then there was a powerful wind … Tornado

Not the Lord

Then there was an earthquake …

Not the Lord

Then came a Fire

Not the Lord

But those are the ways that God has manifested himself before … but not this time.  He keeps looking for God … We need to keep looking for GOD … not just the THINGS we think he has done … Look for the Lord

So I picture him in and out of the cave 3 times looking for God … now v12 Came a Gentle Whisper”

V13 when he heard it”  – Wait … I know that voice … have you ever forgotten what someone sounds like … but as soon as you hear the voice you know it?  And so Elijah knew it … and he covered his face with his cloak … went out and stood at the mouth of the cave …

NOW Jesus is REALLY going to speak to me … Here is the Word of the Lord … Ready?

What are you doing here?

I have been zealous for the Lord …”

Can I tell you why Elijah is HERE?  He has been zealous for the Lord but he wasn’t sure if God was zealous for him.  So he RAN

I am the only one left … they are trying to kill me …

Wait, haven’t we already had his conversation?  You ever had God speak and you didn’t respond and you are looking for the dramatic, but when you finally hear him, it is the same message?

Why did you run?  Why are you scared?  Why aren’t you 300 miles away from here serving me?

I am zealous for the Lord …

Great … Glad for that

Go back the way you came … to Damascus and anoint a King in Aram … to Israel and anoint a King … to Elisha and anoint your successor

Oh and Elijah is Not the Only One … these men are going to be used by God.  Ahab’s servant, Obadiah has been devout to the Lord his whole life 18:10 and he had 100 other prophets hidden away.  God says here that he has 7000 who have not bowed to Baal.

So maybe some were in hiding, but they had stayed true in their hearts.  Don’t judge someone else’s faithfulness by the measure of your call.

Elijah didn’t have to spend 6 weeks and 300 miles … When Jezebel threatened … he could have asked “God, what are we going to do?” And God’s answer would have been the same and his provision the same …

 

Oh and by the way … Elijah never got an answer to the struggle, nor a magic pill to deal with his depression, simply a word from God to go and do …

 

The Story of Ruth … A Type of Christ …

 

Ruth was from a pagan people, Moab, but she had met and married the son of Naomi and Elimelech while they lived in Moab after leaving Bethlehem because of famine.  The sons died, the father died leaving three widows.  After the famine ended, Naomi decided to return home.  Ruth decided to return with her.  No husbands, no servants, not much to live on … But Ruth made a great confession of Faith

Ruth 1:16 (NIV84)But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Everyone was excited to see Naomi back after many years … but she says “don’t call me ‘Naomi’ (pleasant) call me ‘Mara’ (bitter) … For the Almighty has dealt very bitter with me … I left full but came back empty”

 

Oh listen, it is understandable to feel that way, but you don’t know what God is doing …

 

So … here is the TYPE of Christ

Naomi had a relative, a man of standing (NIV) a worthy man (ESV)

So, Ruth went to glean … pick up the leftovers behind the harvesters

V3 “… As it Turned Out”  Oh the Blessed Coincidences of God.  How many God moves in your life and “it just so happens”.  And so “accidentally” she ends up in the field of Boaz.

And v4 “Just Then” “accidentally” “fortunately”, Boaz shows up RIGHT THEN … Oh a Blessed Coincidence …

Whose woman is that?  Translation – “wow she is cute, who is she married to?”

Let her work … Tells her to stay with his servant girls and drink from his water supply

V10

Ruth 2:10 (NIV84)At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

Oh the beauty when a “foreigner” realizes that God has taken notice.  He says that he has heard how she committed to Naomi and to Israel

Ruth 2:12 (NIV84)May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Oh Yeah … Boaz is TOAST

V14 at dinner time he invites her to eat with him and told his workers to purposely leave behind more grain for her.

Naomi then gets the story and she knows that this is promising … it is a beautiful story … The Pleasant aroma is rising and the Bitter taste is fading … Mara is whithering and Naomi is flowering again.

Ruth 2:20 (NIV84)“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.”

He isn’t just a distant relative.  He can do something for us … he has no one … “fortunately” … Oh do we know his Mother / Father?

Salmon and Rahab … Oh can God tell a story?  Who might be soft toward an outsider?  Perhaps the son of a pagan woman who placed her faith in the word of God and a Scarlet Cord in the Window …

So … on the Threshing Floor … again … Naomi tells her how to make her submission and availability known toward him.  So at the right time, she laid at his feet in the night.  When he woke and saw her, he asked

3:9 Who are you?  – Ruth – Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsmen redeemer

V11 – do not be afraid … I will do for you all you ask …

Then he goes in public, not trying to negotiate in the dark.  He goes to the only one with rights and negotiates his release of rights.  The man removes his shoe … a sign that he gave up his right to tread on the land and Boaz would keep it as proof of the transaction

A Kinsmen-Redeemer – A Type of Christ …

They would be a blood relative, They could protect the weak of the family.  But specifically, they could marry a relative’s wife to keep offspring in the family.  They could buy back one sold into slavery.  They could buy back land and keep it in the family

 

So Jesus came to this earth, he became one of us, flesh and blood.  He became subject to our infirmities.  We were sentenced to death, subject to the slavery of sin, this land subject to decay, without a husband

He didn’t try to do something secretly but he went to the public square and was committed to the full transaction, death.  Then outside the gate, he died, our Redeeming Kinsman.  He came to Redeem us from slavery to Sin.  He came to Redeem a bride for himself, the people of his church.  He came to redeem this earth which has been subject to decay and is groaning, Romans 8, for redemption.

So, he purchases slaves, redeemed at the cross freed upon our request

Lord spread your wings over me

And we become his redeemed bride

And he also will redeem his land and restore it in the Millennium and restore then a New Heaven and New Earth in Eternity

And the Women said to Naomi in Ruth 4:14

Ruth 4:14 (NIV84)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!

Why? Because He … Jesus … is our Mediator …

Job 9:33–35 (NIV84)If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, 34 someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. 35 Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.

IF ONLY

IF ONLY

If ONLY there were a Mediator … a Kinsman Redeemer …

Isaiah 47:4 (NIV84)Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.

Jeremiah 50:34 (NIV84)Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

Lamentations 3:58 (NIV84)O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life.

1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV84)For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

What did Job Learn?

Job 19:25 (NIV84)I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Job 33:28 (NIV84)He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.’

 

Keith Green used to sing

 

There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One
Jesus my redeemer name above all names
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah oh, for sinners slain

Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit ’til the work on Earth is done

When I stand in glory I will see His face
And there I’ll serve my King forever in that holy place

Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit ’til the work on Earth is done

There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One

Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your spirit ’til the work on Earth is done
And leaving Your spirit ’til the work on Earth is done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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