by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalms 110:1-7

READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Hebrews 11:3 “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

It takes faith to understand that the universe was created by the word of God. It takes faith because human beings were created after the universe comes into existence. We see with our eyes (or for the matter telescope) the universe beyond this world and wonder how it all happened. Across the ages, many sophisticated theories like the “big bang”, “oscillating model”, “steady state” and “eternal inflation” were put forth. However, none has so far been able to fully satisfy the enquiring mind. How can it? For it takes faith and not logic. It takes faith to believe that God is the creator of something so immensely vast. It takes faith to believe that God is God. God is the uncreated. Things about God cannot be fully known through scientific means.

Why does God want us to live by faith and not by sight? Why does God want us to struggle with and believe in the invisible rather than the visible?

We need to live by faith because that is the only way to learn about trusting in the hands of an invisible but perfectly faithful God. “Trust” is a necessary ingredient of love. Love is not love when trust is not in the picture. For us to be saved in the faithful arms of God, trust and love must invade our souls. God has done it by sending His only begotten Son. It is really up to us to surrender; not once, not twice but on a daily basis in the working out of our salvation.

Imagine that today all things invisible are made visible. God appears to all human beings and tells us all things … like who created the universe. Will that build love? Will that build our relationship with God? Will some even believe? I think not. We are born with haughty eyes and a prideful heart. Faith is necessary to turn us away from ourselves and toward the invisible God. This is so we can truly learn about what life is really about.

Lord, thank you for Your wisdom to keep many things invisible. You know how sinful we are and how we need to build faith in our walk with You. This is so we can grow in our understanding of how glorious You are and how we are so in need of You. Amen.

Day 72

by Rev Joel Yong

Ruth 3:10-13
Boaz replied, “May the LORD bless you, my daughter. This last kindness–that you didn’t go after the younger men, whether rich or poor–is better than the first. Don’t be afraid, my daughter. I will do whatever you say. The whole town knows that you are a woman who has strength of character. It is true that I am a close relative of yours, but there is a relative closer than I. Stay here tonight. In the morning if he will agree to take care of you, that is good. He can take care of you. But if he does not wish to take care of you, then, I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, I will take care of you myself. Lie down until morning.”

Ruth’s actions were culturally interpreted as a proposal of sorts and Boaz was flattered.
He who had shown her grace and mercy earlier on in the harvest field, now feels honored that she came to him instead of a younger man.

But here is what Boaz did:

  1. He did not attempt to take advantage of her. A lesser man may have taken advantage of her since she was ‘forward’. He did nothing to her and merely asked her to rest.
  2. He did not attempt to take advantage of the relative who had the 1st right of refusal to marry Ruth. There was a relative who was of a closer relation than Boaz and he had the right to marry her first. (It was customary that when women were widowed in the family and defenseless- male relatives of close relation could ‘rescue’ them from the plight by marrying them and taking them under their shelter).

This reveals the righteousness and generosity of Boaz.
He sees a needy person and seeks to help them not for what he could get out of the deal, but for the good of the one in need.

The next time you help or give to someone else:

  1. Don’t think how does this impact me?
  2. Think instead how can this help them?
  3. In giving, am I seeking their welfare or am I contributing to their detriment? Note that Boaz did not insist that he could take better care of Ruth than the other close relative, he did the right thing and would rather Ruth marry respectably and not sully her name.