He Calls Me Loved Live Archive

 

Enjoy a good video Bible study? Like to listen to podcasts on the road, while exercising, cleaning, anytime?

Hungry for a different way to get in the Word?

Thursday night we broadcasted two bonus video segments of our online Bible study through Facebook Live.

You can still see the He Calls Me Loved Live videos by archive at the links below, either in video or audio.

Video segments are about 40 minutes each, audio segments are about 15 minutes each.

He Calls Me Loved Live- Part One, Neighbor

He Calls Me Loved Live- Part Two, Helper and Rebel

fontcandy (6)

I also wanted to take a moment to thank you for studying with me. I hope you enjoy this journey together as much as I do. Join in the rest of the study by searching He Calls Me Loved in the I Love My Shepherd search field. You can work through the book of Isaiah at your own pace this way. Look for a print version of the study to come in 2018!

He calls you loved. He surely does. ❤️

Podcast Episodes for He Calls Me Loved Live

Segment 1 – He Calls Me Loved

Segment 2 – He Calls Me Neighbor

Segment 3 – He Calls Me Helper

Segment 4 – He Calls Me Rebel

Somebody find me a kinsman-redeemer

fontcandy-32

Sometimes there are Biblical concepts that we could skip over. They wouldn’t lessen our faith if we didn’t know about them. They wouldn’t change anything about our belief system, but they would grow our faith if we learned about them. Today, we’re going to do just that with this question –

What is a kinsmen redeemer?

And…

Why do I care?

I know Old Testament scholars probably have their mouths hanging open reading this (as if they read my blog 😉 ). More important to me though, is that I think we get intimidated and embarrassed by our lack of Bible knowledge and it hinders us from turning the pages. Let’s not get trumped up by that. The message of Scripture is always redemption, be assured. So we study. We dig deeper.

Today, we will hustle over to the book of Ruth and find out just what this kinsman-redeemer business is all about.

Synopsis: Ruth is Naomi’s daughter-in-law. Her faithfulness is of great esteem in the Scriptures and in our churches. She leaves everything behind, including her own culture’s gods, in love and solidarity for her mother-in-law. That alone is worth noting. She could have stayed in the familiar, the comfortable, but she followed Naomi into the uncertain, into poverty, into the unknown and in doing so embraced an unknown God. This is surely a work of the Holy Spirit writing Ruth’s testimony for us on the page. However, without a husband, these two women were broke. Not America broke, but third world country broke. They had nothing. They could own nothing. They were at the mercy of family to lift them up from the dust, literally to redeem them.

Jewish Old Testament law afforded for just this – redemption from poverty and destitution by the family of God. Glance at Leviticus 25:23-25, 47-48.

 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. 24 And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land.

25 “If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold.” 

 “If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan, 48 then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him…”

This is just a snippet of the Old Testament law, we won’t think too hard on it, instead we’ll jump into Ruth and Naomi’s story a couple of chapters in. Please read all of Ruth 2.

Below I will highlight Ruth 2:19-22 –

And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.”

Ruth and Naomi were broke, remember. They gleaned from the fields for their food. Boaz’s first kindness was to let Ruth walk behind the workers in his fields and pick up the fallen grain to eat. Boaz offered hope from starvation here. In verse 20, Naomi recognizes this as the Lord working through Boaz, showing His great faithfulness. Look at her quote again…

“…the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!”

Not forsaken. That was something Naomi and Ruth needed to see. Hungry, grieving, alone – God gives us hope. The Lord is always holding us in His hands.

Boaz’s second kindness is reported by Ruth in verse 21. You can imagine the protection a young woman would need in the middle of a field alone. God works through Boaz, protecting His children through an actual people. When have you seen this in your own life? When has God used people or a specific person to protect and care for you, whether parents or siblings, family, friends, church family, or stranger?

Enter Boaz’s third kindness. He is Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer. He has the duty, according to the Levitical law, of buying her life back from the forsakenness of widowhood, of lifting her out of the dust. But he also chooses to give her something more – honor.

This is how Christ comes to us. He is charged by the Father with the duty of redeeming the brothers and sisters. God made us. He calls us Children. He is our Father and because of this connection, He also became our Savior.

Jesus gave up His honor, for a time, to bestow it upon us, humbling Himself to walk our fields, to glean for souls on this soil, because He is our brother, our Kinsman-Redeemer.

Naomi proclaims with boldness the Lord’s faithfulness once again at the marriage of Boaz and Ruth, in Ruth 4:13-17 –

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and theLord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Oh sweet beautiful redemption! He has not left you. You may be looking backwards at all Christ has done and rejoicing alongside Ruth and Naomi. You may be in the thick of it and all you can do is raise your hands to the heavens and ask for restoration, for nourishment, for a reminder of life anew. Where ever you are, know this…

He sent a Redeemer, through the line of David, at just the right time.

He is restoring and working and nourishing you.

He redeems situations and relationships and people at just the right time.

Entrust it to Him, sisters, your blessed and beautiful Kinsman-Redeemer.

 

Exploration:

When has God used people or a specific person to protect and care for you?

You are redeemed. What relationships or situations are you asking God to redeem currently? Maybe it’s just a cruddy day, maybe it’s a job, a family situation, a prodigal child, your health. He is in it, girls. He is working!

 

*For more on kinsman-redeemer, check out the book Ruth: More Than A Love Story by Elizabeth Ahlman

Not forgotten

fontcandy-29

So much of childhood is wrapped up in our search for belonging. We want to belong in our families, from the oldest trying to please and excel to the middle child vying for attention, trying not to fade into the wallpaper, and the youngest putting out sparks of humor and zest to liven up the party. These are sweeping generalizations but at least they’re research-based generalizations, right? You or I may not “fit” the mold, but one thing our birth order tells us is that we all want to belong. We want to fit, even when we are trying ever so hard to be rogue. Developmentally, our parents approval meant the world to us growing up, even if they were MIA. Our siblings opinions also mattered, whether they understood it or not. Our teachers and peers and youth leaders, we wanted them to see us. We didn’t want to be forgettable. Who wants forgotten. We want to belong and to be remembered. It’s why infants cry to alert us to needs, preschoolers ask for bandaids every 47 seconds, and teenagers try out new outfits and attitudes daily. Even as adults we make drama where there’s peace, we try to buy the very best and newest stuff, and we add friend after friend to our Facebook feed…the task of being unforgettable is exhausting.

Today we find out the Jesus-truth on this matter.

We are never forgettable.

Open your Bibles to Isaiah 49:13-17 or read below.

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
    my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste;
    your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.

He can not forget. All this vying for attention in life is really a search for the One who can not forget us, even if He tried. The questions God asks of Israel here are hard,

“Can a woman forget her nursing child?” (v.15)

Some of us may say, “No, of course not!” Others of us may say, “My mom did.”

Can you see how life complicates our ability to see Truth? Maybe this knowledge can give us compassion for those who still wrestle and are disconnected to church or Faith.

God understands this complication. Listen again to the next Words from Isaiah 49:15 –

“Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

God further drives home His promise in verse 16 –

“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

God makes promises to the city, but you better believe that each of the residents of those walls heard the promise in it for their own lives. When siege laid waste and Babylon breaks through the city walls, terror and fear struck every heart and every family. Their city was destroyed, the temple, God’s dwelling place among them, destroyed. Each of those people needed to know, “I am not forgotten. My God is with me.” He was giving them something better – Redemption.

And He wrote the promise on His hands.

On His hands, He engraved our names, the name of His Church, His people. How could he forget?

Turn to Isaiah 63:9-16. Feel free to start at verse 7 if you have your Scriptures open.

In all their affliction he was afflicted,
    and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
    he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

10 But they rebelled
    and grieved his Holy Spirit;
therefore he turned to be their enemy,
    and himself fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old,
    of Moses and his people.
Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
    with the shepherds of his flock?
Where is he who put in the midst of them
    his Holy Spirit,
12 who caused his glorious arm
    to go at the right hand of Moses,
who divided the waters before them
    to make for himself an everlasting name,

who led them through the depths?
Like a horse in the desert,
    they did not stumble.
14 Like livestock that go down into the valley,
    the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
So you led your people,
    to make for yourself a glorious name.

Look down from heaven and see,
    from your holy and beautiful habitation.
Where are your zeal and your might?
    The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion
    are held back from me.
16 For you are our Father,
    though Abraham does not know us,
    and Israel does not acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
    our Redeemer from of old is your name.

Even when others fail to acknowledge us, God in Trinity remembers us.

Look back at the passage and look for the work of each member of the Trinity in our Redemption. I’ll highlight my vantage point below.

“You are our Father…”

There’s that familial language again. We need not look any further than to Our Father in Heaven to acknowledge us, to recognize us, to see us. As children and as adults we are not forgotten.

“In all their affliction, he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them…”

The Angel of the Lord is believed by Old Testament scholars to speak of God’s son before His incarnation. This is Jesus, plain and simple. He was afflicted for us. He saves us. He loves us. He looks upon us and redeems us.

“Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit…”

God placed the Holy Spirit into our midst, into each of us. The Spirit’s work is connected to remembrance. The Spirit isn’t just for our remembrance of God, but His remembrance of us. God sees us through His Spirit now, in Jesus Christ. We are remembered as faithful children because of the Spirit’s faithfulness in us. We might grieve the Holy Spirit by our rebellion (v. 10), but that alone is a promise. God sees our rebellion because He sees us. Only in having our rebellion, our sin laid bare, can redemption enter in. Thank you, Holy Spirit for seeing all of me – and loving me anyway!

Great are His promises. Aren’t they remarkable? We are not forgotten. No matter what this life and this world may hold, our Redeemer of Old is bigger, is greater, is more steadfast. We want to leave a lasting mark in this life, we want to be remembered, and we do it in the only place that matters – on God’s hand – engraved on His hands and held by His Spirit.

You are not forgotten.

 

Exploration:

Sometimes I think we speak of the Trinity in vagueness, because it is a slightly vague and complex idea to us. Which person of the Trinity gives you comfort today – Father, Son, or Holy Spirit?

Who can you share the message of not forgotten with?