Word In The Water – Thrice

A masterpiece by Dustine Kensrue and Thrice.

 

Standing knee-deep in cold water, swiftly moving
Somehow I knew I lost something

Wading waist-deep I saw a book there, in the river
Waiting for me to find it there
I tried to read it, neck deep, treading water
The tide pulled me out to sea

Then with water in my eyes
The words began to rise from their place
They were beautiful and dread
I reached for them and fed on each phrase
They were honey on my lips
Then a bitter twist in my side
I knew they'd lay me in my grave
"Is there no one who could save me?" I cried

Sinking down deep through cold water and heavy silence
Shadows stirring in the gloom
What things lay sleeping down deep in the darkness?
Woke then to find me in my tomb

Then with water in my eyes
The words began to rise from their place
They were beautiful and dread
I reached for them and fed on each phrase
They were honey on my lips
Then a bitter twist in my side
I knew they'd lay me in my grave
"Is there no one who could save me?" I cried

When I lost all hope to look 
someone took that heavy book from my hands 
all its weight they set aside 
after they had satisfied its demands
I felt white and black reverse 
and the lifting of a curse from my heart
Then like one receiving sight 
I beheld a brilliant light in the dark
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Ruth: God’s Providence

So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:3 ESV)

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.” 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.” (Ruth 2:19-20 ESV)

The writer of Ruth sets the scene in Ruth 2:3 of a very coincidental experience for Ruth. By happenstance she came to the part of the field that just happened to belong to Boaz, who just happened to be of the clan of Elimelech, who happened to be her father-in-law. So just a few coincidences strung together. The writer leaves it as this and allows us to create our own conclusions of the events in Ruth 2.

What we see is God’s providence, his control over everything and how everything works together as he would have it. God placed Ruth in that field, it wasn’t by happenstance that she was in the field belonging to Boaz. God had plans for Ruth and for Boaz and it started by placing her into Boaz’s field. Often times we don’t see God’s plan and we most definitely don’t understand it but we can trust that He knows what He is doing. Imagine being in Ruth’s shoes; you marry a guy with a cool name, his dad dies, then he dies and his brother dies. So it’s you, your sister-in-law and your mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law is heading back to her hometown, and she has told you about her God and you have adopted her God as your God; but she tells you to go back to your family, back to your gods, back to your comfort zone, back to a place where you will be well taken care of. If you follow Naomi you’ll be broke, have nothing and have to work to get by, plus you will have to take care of your mother-in-law. Recall Luke 14 when it talks about counting the cost; you have to imagine Ruth thought about these things. She gave up a lot to follow Naomi and her God.

So Ruth puts her head down and gets to work in the field to provide for her mother-in-law and herself; but God has a bigger better plan for her. He places her in one of the fields of Boaz, who just happened to be one of their redeemers. God has control over everything and he has plans for his people, even Ruth the Moabite.

Love Came Down at Christmas

This is such a great song; and with Christmas coming it’s appropriate to share this song.

Love came down at Christmas
Love, a lovely love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Stars and angels gave the sign

Love will be our token
Love be yours, and love be mine
Love from God to all of us
Love for plea and gift a sign

Love for the 10 commandments
Love for the 9 that dress so fine
Love for the 8 that stood at the gate
Love for the 7 who went up to Heaven
Love for the 6 that never got fixed
Love for the 5 that stayed alive
Love for the 4 that stood at the door
Love for the Hebrew children
Love from the little babe, baby

The Word by The Dispatch

It is based off the idea of John 1:1, Jesus being the living Word and everything being created in and through him.

I’ve really been enjoying this song as of late. Really simple but good stuff.

Light came in the world where once the darkness reigned 
Light that shines for all, in Him all things were made 
We are given life through Jesus righteous name 

By the darkened world the Light was not received 
But to everyone who in his name believes 
Jesus gives the right to be a child of God 

Jesus, all things were made 
In Jesus, the light of men 
Is Jesus, our life is found in Him 

We have seen His glory, through the Son of Man 
He came as flesh and blood, so we could understand 
Full of grace and truth, His glory has no end 

Christ the Word, you came to save us 
Light of life, we sing your praises 
God of grace, your mighty name is

									

Ruth: Gleaning

Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:1-3, ESV)

Ruth and Naomi have returned to Bethlehem, with pretty much nothing. (In the Veggie Tales rendition of this story they are seen to be eating water soup with water sauce.) So we get a glimpse into a very early social assistance program called gleaning.

Gleaning was a way in which the poor, sojourners, widows and orphans were allowed to gather standing grain in corners or borders of fields as well as the dropped stalk and left behind sheaves.

Come All You Weary: a look at Matthew 11:28

So it's been 2 months + 2 days since I last posted. Life is busy, but that is no excuse, it's not like that really ever changes.

If you were at Applewood last night this was my sermon but most of you weren’t. I sometimes find it difficult to come up with a new idea for a sermon but I had been enjoying this song by Thrice (Also Dustin Kensrue is the man).

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

-Matthew 11:28

Here are a few highlights:

Labour and are heavy laden

When Jesus calls those who labour to come to him, he is calling those who have become weary from trying to become right with God on their own. The immediate context is those who were trying to uphold the law to make them right with God but that becomes very tiring very quickly, because our nature is one that is constantly turning away from God. For those who try to obtain salvation on their own, they will become weary because they will constantly be trying to achieve something that isn’t possible.

I have never personally heard anyone use this phrase that they are ‘heavy laden.’ I didn’t really know what it meant too well before looking it up. It means to be heavily burdened. The realization of sin causes heavy burdens. Realizing that you are responsible for your sins before an almighty God who cannot have sin in his presence is a weighty thing. C.H. Spurgeon says that “a soul which has to bear the load of its own sin, and the load of divine wrath, is indeed heavily laden.

An interesting aspect of this is the use of a active verb and a passive verb. Labour is active meaning you are doing something and are heavily laden is passive meaning that this is something that has happened to you. Those who actively try to work for their salvation and those who realize the heavy burden that lies upon them are both called by Jesus to come to him.

Come to me

This invitation is to come to Jesus, not just know about him but to establish a personal relationship. Only those who have acknowledged that they are weary, because they can’t do anything themselves to gain eternal life, and heavy laden, because they carry a tremendous burden, are able to be saved. If you don’t realize these things, you probably won’t see a need to be saved.

I will give you rest

The verb here ‘will‘ is indicative. This is a factual statement, it doesn’t provide room for any doubt. It doesn’t say maybe or could give you rest. This rest is a gift, not that we deserve it but that we receive it from placing trust in Jesus. This rest is that Jesus has done everything already. On the cross he declared “it is finished” and he meant it. There was nothing left for us to do but to trust that Jesus paying for sin was adequate and God doesn’t not require anything further, just trust in what has been done. This is eternal rest, there is a freedom from becoming weary and freedom from the burden of sin.

The gospel doesn’t end here. The lives of those who are saved are changed and these next few verses give guidance in that, but I’m not going to discuss them.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:29-30

Ruth: Naomi is a Prodigal

So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”

So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1:19-22, ESV)

Up to now we have seen a famine come into Bethlehem which cased Elimelech to move his family from Bethlehem to Moab. They must’ve though this was a great move because then they wouldn’t die. But then all the men in the family do die. They made their life there and now there is only Naomi left from the immediate family. 

Naomi decides to return and when she does she is greeted by those that knew her in Bethlehem. Upon her return she tells them not to call her Naomi, but to call her Mara, which meant bitter. Remember, Naomi meant pleasant, and now she is wanting to be called bitter. But is she ever referred to as Mara? She is never called Mara in the whole book. She was accepted back.

Naomi and the Prodigal

  • She goes out from her home in search for something better because Bethlehem just wasn’t suiting their needs. Just as the prodigal son had enough of being in his father’s house so he took what he had and left.
  • She arrives in Moab and everything seems great at first, but what is she left with? The prodigal son left his father’s house and everything seemed great, he had all this money and was having all this fun, but what is he left with? No friends, no money. He’s found living with the animals.
  • When Naomi realized she had nothing in Moab she decided it was best that she went home. The prodigal son saw what he was living in and decided it was time to go home.
  • Upon their returns both Naomi and the prodigal son both show remorse and say they do not deserve to be reinstated to their previous place. Naomi tells them to call her Mara (“bitter”) and the prodigal son asks to be one of his father’s servants.
  • But both are reinstated. The prodigal son has a party thrown for him and his father embraces him as his son. Naomi is called Naomi and at the end of the book we see those around her celebrating with her, not calling her Mara.

This is always a lesson for us in our relationship with God. We do fail, we all go away from the ‘Father’s house’ but upon return he embraces us, and shows us His great love.