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May 18, Day #139 – No Cure for Willful Spiritual Blindness



Today in Ruth 3-4, we can see God working in the background to help this special family. Naomi, who understands her responsibilities to the law and the customs of Israel, seeks to “find a home where Ruth will be well-provided for” (verse 1). Finding a home implies locating a place of settled refuge – a place of rest – which is the object of chapter 3. Coming home to Israel is only the first part of their search for a home; now, Ruth needs a place of lasting rest. Naomi recognizes Boaz as a kinsman of theirs, and she instructs Ruth in the customs of the land; “‘I will do whatever you say,’ Ruth answered” (verse 5). This should always be our response to our Kinsman-Redeemer. Ruth follows Naomi’s advice, and Boaz realizes that Ruth is a “woman of noble character” and promises “to do for her all she asks” (verse 11). He tells her that He “is near of kin, but there is a nearer kinsman” (verse 12). However, the nearer kinsman may not be willing or able to redeem her, so Boaz says, “I will do it” (verse 13). In this section, we see all the requirements for redemption, among which the more important are: (1) the one who needs redemption cannot redeem himself or herself; (2) the redeemer must be available; (3) the redeemer must be similar to the one who needs redemption; (4) the redeemer must be able (i.e., qualified) to redeem; (5) the redeemer must be willing to redeem; (6) the redeemer must be free of the condition that necessitates redemption. As we said, God is working behind the scenes in the book of Ruth. He works in the life of Boaz who recognizes God’s hand and honors Ruth properly by going through the required legal steps in an attempt to marry her – though he knows he could lose her. Chapter 4 concludes the book with an eternally happy end – Boaz redeems Ruth and marries her. The book provides the genealogy of David – the grandson of Obed and Ruth – which, of course, is the royal, messianic line of our Lord. In the context of the times of the Judges, the book of Ruth is a divine love story that points us to our Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ.


Psalm 62, of David, is a wonderful Psalm that has special meaning to me because its first two verses capture the commitment and the words by which my late wife, Terri Lynn, lived her entire life: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress; I will never be shaken” (verses 1-2). These verses are inscribed on Terri's headstone. In this life, we are but “a leaning wall, a tottering fence” (verse 3), and in Him alone can we find “hope and rest” (verse 5). David advises us to “trust in Him at all times … for God is our refuge” (verse 8). We are but “a breath … nothing if weighed on a balance” (verse 9). David tells us that “God is strong, and He is loving” (verses 11-12), and we would do well to live our lives by these words.


Yesterday, from John 9, we asked the question, “Who here in this passage was really blind?” The question has little to do with physical blindness, for we see that Jesus could easily deal with that and heal it – as He did in the case of the man born blind – “a piece of cake” for Him. But here in John 9:35-10:21, we see another kind of blindness – willful spiritual blindness – that Jesus cannot heal, apart from a heart which is willing to be cured. After the Pharisees threw the man out of the synagogue, Jesus found him and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (verse 35). The man said that he did, and Jesus said, “the blind will see … those who see will become blind” (verse 39). The Pharisees – ever intent on pushing their point – could not accept this, and Jesus told them, “Your guilt remains” (verse 41). In chapter 10, verses 1-21, Jesus presents himself as “the Gate for the sheep and … the Good Shepherd Who lays His life down for the sheep” (verse 7-21). We see that His words severely divided the Jews – some “said He was demon-possessed, but others said that a demon-possessed man could not open the eyes of a blind man” (verses 19-21). Willful spiritual blindness has no cure.


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