Through the Lens of God's Word

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” - Proverbs 30:5

Dear Friends,

This week we kicked-off a new series, looking at several stories of how God opened up his arms to welcome outsiders in and let them know that they belonged! Kicking off worship, we heard a passage of scripture from Deuteronomy, the last of the 5 Books of the Law, that was essentially Moses’ final state of the Union address before he handed off leadership to Joshua as they entered into the Promised Land.

As part of this speech, the people were reminded of some of their inhospitable, unwelcoming, cursing neighbors - the Moabites. They were warned not to make treaties, agreements, or covenants with them based on the way they had treated Israel on their journey to the Promised Land.

And then we looked at the story of Ruth… the Moabite.

Ruth lived a virtuous life that opposed what Israel had believed about Moab. Boaz welcomed her with open arms, redeemed her mother-in-law’s property, married Ruth… and ended up being part of the lineage of King David and eventually Jesus himself.

So… was Boaz going against God’s instructions? Possibly.

But I don’t think it’s as easy as that.

I think this situation, and the entire series we’re embarking on, is an important reminder that all of the scripture matters. Not just one verse or one story. All of it is God-breathed and important for teaching and understanding.

We can’t read Deuteronomy by itself and think we’ve figured out God’s intention. We certainly can’t read it without reading Ruth, or reading Genesis - and God’s call to Abraham to be a blessing to the world, not exclusively to one ethnic group. And we really can’t read Deuteronomy without reading the New Testament. In fact, every reading of the Old Testament must be read through the lens of Jesus, who was the Word of God, the perfect expression of God for us.

There is a tremendous tension involved in the Christian Life. It cannot and will not be resolved on this side of eternity. But if we remember it’s there, and seek to live in it, I think we will be as faithful as we possibly can, to the God who… created that tension and remains with us, in it now.

So, let’s keep pressing on Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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