RUTH OUR RELATIONSHIP TO JESUS 1. Naomi and family leave Sometimes we leave the protection of God's plan. the promised land. 2. Death and tragedy strike Trouble always comes as a result 3. Naomi and Ruth return Suffering problems and trials often turns us back to Jesus and His plans. 4. Ruth gleans in the fields Jesus gives us special privileges of Boaz who is a mighty man of wealth 5. Boaz accepted Jesus is our Lord and Protector-Provider responsibility for Ruth 6. He loves and marries her He loves and cares for us forever Bi Joseph Have your class make a list of the characters and discover the hidden meaning behind their names with the use of a Bible Dictionary. Explain how each name is designed to tell us something about God or Jesus and how they care for us. Answers are listed for teacher's help. JOSEPH He shall add ISRAEL As a prince you have power with God and with men JUDAH Praise GAD Armed and prepared ASHER Happy/blessed MANASSEH Forgetting the past NAPHTALI Wrestling SIMEON Listening and hearing with acceptance LEVI Attached to God ISSACHAR The reward is mine ZEBULUN I Am exalted BENJAMIN Son of the right hand Ci Jonah The book of Jonah is the only one of the twelve so-called Minor Prophets that is strictly narrative inform. It is an account of Jonah's mission to the city of Nineveh to announce its speedy destruction because of its sins. The prophet entertains misgivings and perplexities as to his carrying out the charge of God to go to Nineveh. The very thought of journeying to this great metropolis, the difficulties and seeming impossibilities of the task, made him shrink from undertaking the divine commission and question its wisdom. Failing to rise to that strong faith that should have led him to realize that with the divine command came the divine power to accomplish it, Jonah sank into discouragement, dread, and despair (see
PK 266). Knowing the loving- kindness and long-suffering of God, Jonah was also afraid that if he delivered the divine message and the heathen accepted it, the threatening doom he pronounced upon them would not come to pass. This would be a deep humiliation to him, as it thus turned out to be, and this he could not endure (Ch. 4:1,2). Heat first disobeyed, but through a series of events was led to carryout the commission. The inhabitants of Nineveh repented, and fora time turned from their sins. Jonah was angry, but God justified His gracious dealings. Among the lessons taught by Jonah's prophecy is the truth that God's grace brings salvation to all (Titus 2:11), that it was indeed not confined to the Jews, but was also to be revealed among the heathen. God has "also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). Like Peter (Acts 10), Jonah came to realize reluctantly that God was willing to receive those of every nation who turned to Him. By repentance, Jesus condemned the pharisaical and prideful Jews of His day (see Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32) and all others who, in their religious complacency and false sense of soul security, deceive themselves into thinking that they are the favored people of God, and thus assured of salvation. Jesus used the experience of Jonah in the sea as an illustration of His death and resurrection (Matt. 12:39, 40). His reference to the book of Jonah established the veracity of the book. Di Esther Considered as literature the book of Esther is an epic. It depicts a crisis in the fortunes of Gods people that threatened them with annihilation. The instrument of deliverance is a Jewess, elevated from a quiet life with her cousin and foster father, Mordecai, to be queen of a world empire. The narrative displays Esther as a woman of clear judgement, remarkable self- control, and noble self-sacrifice. The challenge of Mordecai, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this" (ch. 4: 14), projected the youthful queen to the heights of heroic action. In solemn dignity her spirit rose to answer the demand of the hour in the courageous and thrilling words, "If I perish, I perish" When at the critical moment the scepter was held out to her she did not immediately identify the villain, but with remarkable restraint and deliberate care guided the king and Haman into a situation calculated to be most favorable to her purpose. Fiction could not conceive of a more dramatic and surprising series of coincidences than those that led up to the exposure and death of Haman. In Purim, the Feast of Lots, the Jews ever commemorated Heaven's disposal of Haman's evil plan, which a "lot" had presumably indicated would succeed (see ch. 3:7).
The religious character and moral teaching of the book of Esther maybe summarized thus. Though God's name does not appear in the entire book, His providence is manifest throughout. No disbeliever in God could possibly have written the book no believer can read it without finding his faith strengthened. Deliverance is presented by the writer as the result of a living faith in God. 2. The book of Esther provides an account of the origin of an important Jewish national festival, the Feast of Purim, which is still observed with rejoicing each year. 3. A vital moral lesson pervades the narrative. With the passing of Haman's brief day of popularity the transitory nature of earthly power and prosperity becomes painfully evident. God humbles the proud and exalts those who trust in Him. 4. The providence of God is strikingly displayed. Divine power is united with human effort. The means used are human, but the deliverance itself is divine.