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Lately, I saw the great merit of this Bible Reading Blog. Despite, my extensive Bible readings there are some books in the OT that I rarely even looked at. We often like to read the bits of Bible WE THINK are inspiring or useful.

I'm sure there would be people reading this blog who will get to cover books they skipped or could not read, in their own personal readings. And it is a very good thing.

Book of Judges has to be one I rarely read! But through this blog I got wonderful exposition of this book. I truly thank Mike for taking the time, care and effort for maintaining this blog. And I pray that God will give us all life changing insights into His Word and Will.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!The Israelities were so sorry that a tribe was missing due to their zeal that they went out and wiped out another one.What did the people of Jabesh Gilead do?They didn't come to tha assembly.Who gave them the authority to judge,guess we should think twice before judging anyone in church for not being as "spiritual"as we think.I can't help but wonder if the people of Jabesh Gilead went out with the rest of Israel to fight the tribe of Benjamin and this was payback time masked as "holy anger".Then the idea of going to kidnap virgins that came to Shiloh for the anual festival to worship the Lord?!True Israel had no king and it's such an irony to go to worship God when you have a broken/no relationship with him.
Naomi/Mara:didn't see God's blessing standing right in front of her.Not many children would stand by their parents when the parents truly need them how much more a mother in law.Bitterness is poison.Naomi was too busy counting her losses to count her blessings.I think I need to stop and really bless God for what he's done in my life.
God bless you all.

Today is a special day of thanks for me. I thank God for the many wonderful and beautiful blessings in my life. Every moment of my life is a moment of praise and thanksgiving---for all my families, natural, adoptive, in-law families, as well as my family of friends ...

Yes, I do I love repeating Ruth's inspiring words of
commitment: "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God..." Indeed, it is difficult to be physically close to all the people we love especially in this world of mobility but LOVE never fades with distance. We can always continue to love in spirit just as true believers worship God in spirit!

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. These words really touched my heart today. This verse from Ruth, my daughter chose to be read when she got married. Yes, this is really is a sign of commintment. I thank God that God is in both of their lives. Have a blessed day. Peggy

Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22

Judges 21

And the Israelites came to the house of God [Bethel] and sat there until evening before God and lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. [Judg. 20:27.] And they said, O Lord, the God of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel? (Judges 21:2-3 AMP)

Ya think the folks were really interested in what God had to say? I do it, we do it, the church does it—we make decisions based on what seems right to us, what looks right in our own eye failing to seek God’s voice, and if He does speak, we ignore Him. Yet, when faced with the consequences and fruit of our “nutty” behavior, we ask God why? Ain’t nothing new under the sun, but everything is fresh and renewed under the Son.


I like what Anka stated about Naomi, her bitterness blinded her to the blessing God placed right in her household. Like many women today who have faithfully and dutifully followed there husband into a place where they should have never been, Naomi followed but became bitter. She was dutiful but angry and hurt because her husband took her from the House of Bread, during the time of famine, into a land and a people they should have shunned.

Looking at the names of the men pre-return from Moab, we probably get a hint of there character, and it wasn’t pretty.

Elimelech (Naomi’s Husband)= “my God is king” Now, here was a man that definitely didn’t live up to his name because he left the God who was his king and went to a land where Chemosh was the god of the land.

Mahlon (One of the husbands to Ruth or Orpah) = “sick” I picture a man who was always whining and miserable.

Chilion = “pining”

What did Ruth see in the God that Naomi served in spite of her mother-in-laws bitterness? Whatever it was, she recognized that she had everything to gain and nothing to loose if she failed to go back to her father’s house.

In Ruth’s behavior I see what it truly means to accept Jesus Christ: giving up everything you grew up with, everything you know and attaching yourself to the one true God. Ruth is an Old Testament example of a New Testament work, a changed mind (Romans 12:2) She forsook family, traditions, religion, everything that was familiar to her to follow after Israel’s God. Wow! She did what the Rich Young ruler would not. Have I given up ALL to follow Jesus, or am I hanging out with “Sick, Pining, and My God is king who had forgotten who the King really is?

The book of Ruth – Beautifully illustrates Kinsman-redeemer

Kinsman-redeemer is a wonderful concept that is so beautifully fulfilled in the life and ministry of the Perfect Man, our Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note this information from the wonderful Messianic Jewish website, hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_One/Aleph-Bet/Gimmel/gimmel.html

“The …( go’el ) [or redeemer] is the name for the kinsman Redeemer…YHVH (Yahweh) Himself is identified as the ultimate Redeemer of Israel and mankind (Psalm 19:14)…”

“Yeshua the Mashiach (Messiah) is identified as the Redeemer of mankind (John 4:41). He is the One who, being born into the world, runs forth bearing charity for the poor ones who stand “behind the door”. He is our nourishment and our great Benefit. But for those who spurn His love, He represents judgment and recompense (i.e., the Avenger of blood…)”

“…Yeshua has been lifted up and exalted before the world as the One who has conquered sin and death on our behalf. Benefit indeed!”

Note how the Lord Jesus is our near Kinsman:
1. Fully God and fully man
(John 10 – “I and the Father are one”; John 5 – “the Son of Man”)
2. Perfect Man – Perfect because He was without sin (Hebrews 2, 4, and 5)
1 Timothy 2 (NKJV)
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
3. Our Brother –
Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

For Jesus to truly fulfill the role of “Elder Brother” for the family of the redeemed, He had to take on flesh and blood. He had to enter into the prison to free the captives.

4. Jesus is the Perfect Representative as man. Only as man could He redeem man from the sin and deceptions of the enemy. Man was created to represent God’s image on earth. As such, man was created to rule righteously and to reflect God’s excellence. Satan knew that. When he tempted man and when man sinned, Adam (mankind) gave up his right to be delegated ruler by placing himself under the authority of the devil and sin.

I John 5 (NKJV)
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

5. Jesus, being very glad and not ashamed to be our brother, was able to give us His victory of sin, flesh, world, and the devil. When we repent and trust in Jesus, His victory over sin is given to us.

And get this – this is one of the most amazing facts about Jesus: As our kinsman-redeemer, Jesus loves us and BY GRACE shared with us HIS VERY OWN INHERITANCE.

This is a powerful picture of spiritual reality, pictured in Luke 15. The elder brother is the one who receives the inheritance from the father, and then the others in the family receive their inheritance from him.

Note this from Romans 8 (Amplified), one of the most exciting verses in the Bible:
And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

It not it amazing that Jesus the Son, in HIS GRACE, shared His own inheritance with us?


I've learned a lot from reading "Judges." I've never read it before, I admit, avoiding it partly because the title made me think it was going to be dry boring accounts of Jewish law and court cases:) LOL There are some really great narrative stories in this book. A lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be!

I think it was one of the links Mike gave which said that the bottom line of Judges is "the wages of sin is death." I think that's what I'll remember about this book. I was amazed at how barbaric the people were. The more things change, the more they stay the same?

Also, I've often wondered why God doesn't appear more often to us, send visible angels, signs, and wonders because then we would believe more easily. But it seems it wouldn't matter (hence the answer to the rich man in hell who sees Lazarus in heaven), and that we (I, at least) would probably behave like the Israelites in Judges.

Blessings to all,


I think God doesn't appear etc, like in the Old Testament for two reasons.

1) His Word (the Bible) is complete. It has the beginning (Genesis), Points to Christ, foreshadows salvation plan, and prophecies Christ(rest of OT), Christ here for our redemption (gospels), how to behave and carry yourself as a Christian (rest of NT), and the end (Revelation). It is all there for anyone to pick up and read and with the right heart to understand.

2)There are signs and wonders still here showing God is a personal God who cares about us.

There are tens of millions of Christians walking around endowed with the Holy Spirit and abiding in Christ. Tapping into that power these Christians are living examples of "wonders" for the transformation of their lives. When in fellowship with God they are sharing their testimony and the Gospel.

There are signs(miracles)that occur. I personally have had two prayer healings that no one can explain except it is from God. Sadly when I share the stories most people just shrug it off.

Summary: God has made his statement and it is the most bought book ever over time, and he has tens of million ambassadors who share his message. So actually - one can say God is acting intimately in this world on a much more expanded level than He did thousands of years ago - just in a different way.

Judges 21

"In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit."

So ends Judges, and the people were making their own decisions right and left.

Sure there was crying and wailing to God, sure they offered some sacrifices - BUT DID YOU NOTICE.

Judges 21:4
"Early the next day the people built an altar and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings." NIV

Why weren't the people consulting the High priest - the mediator to God (at this time) for Israel????

Were they crying out of repentence, or because things had gotten so out of hand???? Were they turned to God - or just gathering together because that is what people do in times of trouble????

What were the people doing building an altar and making the sacrifices? God said the sacrifices were to be made at the tabernacle in Shilo with the High Priest presiding over the offerings. Too much trouble to hike up to Shilo I guess - may as well do it themselves. It would be all right - God would understand.

God's SILENCE to His chosen people is deafening. (I don't recall God speaking in the last few chapters)

John 4

Bob cites Josephus saying the relationship between Jews and Samaritans may not have been THAT bad. I disagree. The Samaritans:

Were inter-racial (no longer pure from the tribes), rejected the Jews and their teachings, during persecution had rededicated their temple at one time under duress to Zeus , had been persecuted and killed over temple dispute settled in Egypt, were open to unclean practices (hence - you did not eat off a plate of a Samaritan), and in Jesus' time had spread Human bones throughout Temple during a passover celebration - thus desecrating the temple.

So, while Jews may have taken the short cut through Samaria as Josephus indicates - they probably avoided the towns and people of the area for reasons above.

The Samaritans believed in the same God, thought their Temple was the Holy place of worship, and thought the Messiah would come as a "TEACHER". Not a "KING" as the Jews believed.



And Jesus WENT to them. This was to Glorify God as the message would go to the World as early John indicates - even the Samaritans. The Jewish Nation would reject Christ - here the Samaritans would embrace Jesus.
Here he met a woman who had a "hunger" for a relationship. She had five husbands and now a live-in, but the hunger - the hole in her heart - was not satisfied.

Christ offers her the "living water". Water washing the body always symbloizes God's Word. Water ingested (drank) symbolizes the Holy Spirit. I believe the "gift of God" is Salvation. So Christ is saying 'if you knew the gift of Salvation, and I who came to bring it - you would ask for the "Holy Spirit" to have eternal life.'

The woman still does not get it - and must come to realize the thing that hinders her from understanding (We all must come to this point before salvation). Jesus confronts her with her many relationships - she has to know they are not the way to be fulfilled - one can only be truly fulfilled through God.

After her next statement - Christ says worship is not about a place, your knowledge is incomplete, and God is spirit and must be worshipped in the spirit.

[Notice the process of revelation for the Woman. She starts off calling Jesus - A Jew - then Sir - then prophet - and lastly the Christ (albeit in the form of a question).]

This is the second time in Gospel of John that Christ openly reveals himself. The first time is to Nathaniel. I would suggest they both had hearts that were without guile - they were open to receiving Christ. Although the woman's heart seemd to undergo a progression indicated by the way she addressed Jesus. It is also the first use in John of "ego eimi" or "I AM" which in the original Greek text is "Ego eimi" and not split up as the translation indicates.

I believe the woman believes in Him and receives Him into her life at this point - and is reborn. Her first act is a form of evangelism - as she goes back to tell her people. These people who never paid attention to her before except out of scorn heeded her and went to search for this Messiah.

John 4 (cont)

A Great Visual - ripening or "white" fields.

I think a lot of commentators miss this and the NIV totally leaves it out.

John 4:35
"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest." NAS

In the Greek the word "white" - Gk. "leukos" - is in the text.

Our Lord gave a lot of agrarian exmaples to a nation that had a lot of farmers. I assume when the grain was ripe and the sun hit it the field had a bright white kind of topping. I think there was another visual image being represented here.

In those times only the wealthy could afford the colored (dyed) robes of the time. Most common people wore undyed white outer garments. While Jesus was talking to disciples - the woman had been spreading the word in town.

I can just imagine the townspeople wearing white - a few hundred? - cutting across the fields to hurry and see (possibly) "the Messiah". So the disciples would look up when Jesus recited verse 35 and see all this white.

Before now they had benefited from John the Baptist's prepatory work, and had been baptizing people. Here,Jesus had already planted the seed with the woman, and now they were going to harvest.

And they did -

"We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

Ruth 1

Contrast of Two Women


Naomi knew God was a God of Power. In verse 6 Naomi recognizes it is the Lord who provided for His people. She prayed to the Lord that He would show kindness and grant husbands to the young widows. Naomi knew God had the power to grant her requests for Orpah and Ruth.

Naomi probably had prayed a lot over the ten years - and I think she decided that while God was a God of Power, she probably was not sure of His love for her. In fact - that "The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."

God hates me - that is reflected in her prayers for Orpah and Ruth. She prayed for blessings for them - but for her - it was no use.

Be careful how you pray, and what you hope for others. Pray that God's will be fulfilled. Orpah by following Naomi's advice went back to a godless people who offfered child sacrifices - effectively cutting Orpah off from God.

As Anka said - Naomi did not see her blessings - she was too full of bitterness. The whole town was "stirred" (abuzz)by her return, but instead of embracing the community - Naomi shut herself off.

Naomi saw Ruth as not being able to fit in, poor and helpless like her in Israel -

"As far as God was concerned, she came back with the whole future of the human race holding onto her arm. She came back with a young woman who would be the mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David the king of Israel, the father of the Messiah of Israel and the Lord of the nations, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. That's who she came back with. Not empty, but fuller than she had ever been." - Ray Stedman

Ruth was in the same boat as Naomi - except younger. She was poor, childless, and a widow. Further she was a Moabite who had little prospects of marrying in Israel.

However, what Ruth saw was 180 degrees from Naomi. Ruth had Naomi, and that friendship was worth something. Ruth had come to believe in the God of Israel instead of false gods. Ruth had the chance to leave a people with no future to go be with the "chosen people" of God.

Ruth had no husband and no children with little prospect of them in the future. What she had was Naomi and a God who she trusted and believed in - and that was enough. For that she was thankful. Because of that Ruth pledged her undying loyalty and friendship to Naomi.

Reading all this has caused me to once again remember my love and committment to the Lord. I love what Ruth told Naomi, "I will go where you go, your people will be my people and your God will be my God." I felt that when I met Jesus, I said these same words to Him, and I still feel the same today. I will go where He goes, His people shall be my people and His God is my God! Praise God we are blessed to share all these truths without fear of harm and we have freedom to sprad the Word freely.

I love the stories of Ruth & Naomi and the woman at the well.

Great reading for women today!

When Jesus met the woman at the well, she asked Him questions, and He did not exactly answer them. Instead Jesus turned the issues she was raising away from the natural and the "religious" issues to spiritual issues - directly to her own need for a savior.
Jesus did not get distracted on the woman's rabbit trails about how and who is supposed to worship how and with whom. Jesus did not regard the customary practices of the day as important compared to the value of the woman herself. The undesirable Samaritans were able to be reached because they heard the woman's testimony and then from Christ himself.

We need to do the same and treat it as though it were our daily nourishment to do God's will and not our own.

Nothing in my own life has meant more or been more satisfying as witnessing to the lost and encouraging other Christians around me.

Judges: Over and over Israel turned away from God - What a tribute to God's character - He still loved Israel, and glory to God, He still loves us and forgives us when we fail.

God bless you all!

I have to keep this short ... I'm going out "fishing" today. Today is extra special because today is the celebration of freedom in Holland. It's a national holiday. Freedom of 1945, WWII. A huge team from one of our fellowship-churches will join us today, to tell the people what real freedom is!!! Can you say "amen" with me?????

I love the book of John so much!!! I just love his way of telling about Jesus, it's amazing! The story from the Samaritan woman is very powerful. Verse 10 "Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” ~ I love how Jesus talks about 'living water'. That's what He is to us! We get this Living Water and we will never be thirsty again!
Verse 26 “I Am the Messiah!” ~ Amen! Thank you Jesus!

Judges was a great book! I really enjoyed it! I love Ruth! wow...i read it about 5 yrs ago and God just SPOKE to me sooo powerfully. I had moved out of state and i returned to CA with nothing, i had moved with faith but for some reason, seemed like endless punishment...all i had was lost, from my funds to my car, even my relationship with my sister. I was in such despair wen i came back, i just felt like God was punishing me! I found the book of Ruth and boy could i relate to Naomi!!
"...for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

I love the women at the well story, i have heard many sermons on it, never heard wat was said in the bible.org commentary that they were shocked Jesus talked to a "woman". Aww, Jesus loves women, children, men, all equally, all races shapes n sizes. How wonderful He is! How much do I wish i couldve lived back when Jesus walked the earth! He is so kind, so merciful, so compassionate, so perfect! God is just revealing His heart to me and its just overwhelming!! I'm singing that song by Lighthouse, 'I'm falling even more in love with you!...'
God's love is so abundant and overflowing me! I can hardly handle feeling so loved!

Ruth 1:1-7 – Personally I felt that Elimelech (Naomi's husband) and two sons died because they should not have sojourn in the country of Moab thereby exposing themselves to idolatry and pagan practices which God detests because God wants His people to remain in the Promised land where His protection will abide even if there was a famine. God will provide for His people even in times of famine (v6). Do we abandon God and His principles when the going gets tough? Or will we trust God and stick it out trusting that He will even provide for us at times of when jobs or work is hard to come by. Have we consulted God before making any decision especially if it would have implications on our fellowship with God and His people. God never wants us to leave the fellowship of His people unnecessarily.
Ruth 1:8-17 - Ruth is a Moabite woman, yet she showed uncommon love for her Hebrew mother-in-law Naomi. Even her mother-in-law approved them to return back to their homeland so that they do not need to suffer further hardship and widowhood and her sister-in-law Orpah decided to do do just that and also return back to the Moab gods also (V16). Ruth however made a personal resolve to follow Ruth even if there is no benefit at all. I personally believe that besides loyalty and love for Naomi, Ruth also heard about the God of Israel and had made a commitment to follow Him too with all of her heart. God welcomes anyone to believe in Him and does not look at a person's pedigree. Even if the person has come from families where ancestors for many generations believe in other religions. God readily accepts them as long as they have committed themselves fully to follow Him wholeheartedly and forsake their religions.

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