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The Book Of RUTH

The Book Of RUTH

The book of Ruth tells the story of three people: Naomi, a widow from Bethlehem in Judah; Ruth, her daughter-in-law from Moab; and Boaz, a gentleman farmer from Bethlehem. Ruth, in a supreme act of devotion, follows Naomi home from Moab and there meets Boaz, Naomi's close relative. Boaz understands that Ruth, though a foreigner, is a woman of worth. Through a scheme of Naomi to send Ruth to meet Boaz in secret, and through the cleverness of Boaz, who claims Ruth before the city elders, Boaz and Ruth
marry and have a child, thus insuring the continuation of the Davidic line that eventually leads to the birth of Jesus.

The book of Ruth shows how the actions and commitments of ordinary and even unexpected people such as foreigners and widows can change the course of history for the better. The book helps the reader redefine family, appreciate the significant role of the righteous foreigner, and look to the importance of living up to the spirit rather than the letter…

The Book Of MALACHI

The Book OF MALACHI

The period of exuberance and the energy experienced when the exiles returned from Babylon and rebuilt the temple has given way to a diminishing regard for obeying the law. Even priests have become lethargic and corrupt in their religious practices. Malachi urges a return to covenant obedience, faithful sacrifices, and tithes. He alerts the people that God will send another messenger before the Day of the Lord.

Congregations all have their ups and downs, periods of energy and success, too often followed by a let-down. This book addresses exactly that situation. The effort and enthusiasm of the exiles as they returned from Babylon and rebuilt the temple have been followed by a lethargy and slovenliness even among priests. Malachi's message urges us today to restore our dedication and faithfulness as we await the coming Day of the Lord.

In Hebrew malaki means "my messenger." In 3:1, "See, I am sending my messenger," the messenger is malaki. Mo…

The Book Of JOB

The Book Of JOB

Job is presented as such a good man that God boasts about him in a conversation with Satan. Satan is then given permission to test how faithful Job would be if he had to endure loss, grief, and pain. Job's friends come to bring comfort to Job, but fail miserably. After an extended series of dialogues between Job and four friends, God speaks and Job's good fortunes return. Questions about why good people like Job suffer are left unanswered, but Job's relationship with God is renewed.

The problem of human suffering and God's involvement in the pain of the world is always with us. Efforts to find the cause of suffering often lead one (as Job and his counselors) to put the blame somewhere--on self, others, God, or Satan. The book of Job asks us to look beyond blame, accept ambiguity and uncertainty, and trust God for what we cannot see or control.

No one really knows who wrote the book of Job. No author is identified. There was likely more than one author.