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Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – Our home with Christ in the word “abide” – loving your brother.

RUTH-4-180522
length: 63:56 - taught on May, 22 2018
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Class Outline:

Tuesday May 22, 2018

 

Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - loving your brother.

 

As we look at John’s use of the word “abide” in connection with our home with Christ, we are currently looking at the second usage of the word in John’s first epistle.

 

We have already looked at the first usage.

 

1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

 

1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

 

1JO 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.

 

1JO 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

 

1JO 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

 

1JO 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

 

1JO 2:7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.

 

1JO 2:8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 

1JO 2:9 The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.

 

1JO 2:10 The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

 

1JO 2:11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

 

As we continue looking at the home that Christ has prepared for us, focusing on the word “abide”, we learn that God’s love is a key component of its foundation.

 

Abiding in the light is conditioned upon loving our brother. John does not talk about indifference towards our brother. He addresses either love of him or hate.

 

Indeed, we are to abide in love.

 

1JO 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

 

One cannot say that he loves God while he hates his brother.

 

As we noted on Sunday, without God’s love we live in a made-up fantasy world. Without God’s love we will be unable to see our fellow man and God in the proper light, and so we will be blind to truth.

 

The unbeliever makes the lie his god unto the grave. The believer can become foolish and believe a lie.

 

The Pharisees believed many lies while claiming to be holders of the truth.

 

ROM 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 

Paul addresses the believer’s foolish deception that leads him to believe a lie.

 

GAL 5:7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

 

Love sees others and God in the proper light and therefore can discern truth. If all events, people, and even God are only seen with yourself in mind, then you will be blind to the truth in all of them and you will stumble.

 

God speaks through Isaiah about what He considers to be called fasting - loving your neighbor.

 

MAT 6:16 "And whenever you fast [love your neighbor, as we will see], do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

 

MAT 6:17 "But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face

 

MAT 6:18 so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

 

ISA 58:1 "Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet [shofar], And declare to My people their transgression, And to the house of Jacob their sins.

 

ISA 58:2 "Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness, And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.

 

Israel in 800 B.C. hid their hatred (lack of love) in religious Temple worship. They were blind and thought God to be blind. God will speedily interpose.

 

With a loud voice that must be heard, like the shofar blown in public on New Year’s day, the prophet is to point out to the people their deep moral wounds, which they may indeed hide from themselves with hypocritical Temple worship, but cannot conceal from the all-seeing God. They are blind.

 

They ask God in prayer how they will be delivered from their enemies. They asked the prophet as well, “How will God deliver us?” They believed that because they were the race of Israel, descended from Abraham, on that alone they were to be delivered from their enemies. (This erroneous belief continued to the days of our Lord’s ministry.) But their enemies were not the nations surrounding them. It was the devil, their father (JOH 8:44), who led them in the rebellion that lived in their own hearts, which blinded them into rejecting the commands to love God and neighbor.

 

ISA 58:3 'Why have we fasted and Thou dost not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice? 'Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire [Hebrew: you stretch your hand to your occupation], And drive hard all your workers.

 

“you find your pleasure” - matsa chephets = you stretch your hand to your occupation … without care for others.

 

ISA 58:4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.

 

Besides the Day of Atonement, fasting is not demanded of Israel. Yet they fasted, as did many of the pagan cultures around them, in the hope of appeasing and pleasing God. Isaiah points out that on the fast days they drive their workers even harder as is their desire. We would conclude that on fast day they are hungry and irritable and they take out their self-inflicted misery on those under their charge and strike him with a wicked fist.

 

Do they honestly believe that such an action makes their voices heard on high? Is this not a made-up world that they live in, with a god of their own making who does not see or hear, and praises them for acting like they do, and will deliver them, and even reveal how He is going to do so?

 

MAT 15:7-9

"You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you [29:13], saying,

 

'This people honors Me with their lips,

But their heart is far away from Me.

'But in vain do they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'"

 

Jesus’ disciples then pointed out that the Pharisees were offended by this statement, to which the Lord said, MAT 15:14 "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

 

ISA 58:4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.

 

ISA 58:5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed, And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?

 

ISA 58:6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free, And break every yoke?

 

Christ would take the entire yoke of man’s slavery upon His own shoulders.

 

ISA 58:7 "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh [Jewish brothers to whom love was required]?

 

There is true worship and false. Love is enmeshed in one of them.

 

To hang down the head and sit in sackcloth and ashes-this does not in itself deserve the name of fasting and of a day of gracious reception on the part of Yavah. Loving your neighbor is a day of fasting.

 

When loving others, you often have to deny yourself something. If we will not love when it must be sacrificial, then we don’t possess God’s love, but a human facsimile.

 

Fasting defined by God: sympathetic, self-denying love that gives up possessions for the good of those in need.  

 

Vv. 6 and 7 affirm that the fasting which is pleasant to Jehovah consists in something very different from going without food and wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes, namely, in releasing the oppressed, and in kindness to the helpless; not in abstinence from eating as such, but in sympathetic acts of that self-denying love, which gives up bread or any other possession for the sake of doing good to the needy.

 

This is why Christ could say, “When you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do…” God’s definition of fasting is what He had in mind, which is a manifestation of His love to those in need.

 


ISA 58:8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

 

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