November 9 Devotional (2021)

November 9, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • The Second Song of Isaiah, Quaerite Dominum (Isaiah 55:6-11)
  • Ruth 3:14—4:6, The widow’s next of kin receive her
  • 1 Timothy 5:9-16, The church assists widows

Invitatory

God is the great Lord * Come, let us adore Him.

Opening Prayer

We pray this morning to the Lord who rose again, that we may also rise again in eternal life; forever and ever. Amen. [1]

Intercession

[2]

Hymn

“How Can We Sinners Know” by Charles Wesley
Lyrics:

How can we sinners know 

Our sins on earth forgiven? 

How can my gracious Savior show 

My name inscribed in heaven? 

We by his Spirit prove 

And know the things of God, 

The things which freely of his love 

He has on us bestowed. 

The meek and lowly heart 

That in our Savior was, 

To us that Spirit does impart 

And signs us with his cross. 

Our nature’s turned, our mind 

Transformed in all its powers, 

And both the witnesses are joined 

The Spirit of God with ours. [3]


Morning Prayer

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen. [4]

Short Verse

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Psalm 33:5

Morning Reading

The Second Song of Isaiah, Quaerite Dominum (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; *

    call upon him when he draws near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways *

    and the evil ones their thoughts;

And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, *

    and to our God, for he will richly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, *

    nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, *

    so are my ways higher than your ways,

    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *

    and return not again, but water the earth,

Bringing forth life and giving growth, *

    seed for sowing and bread for eating,

So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *

    it will not return to me empty;

But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, *

    and prosper in that for which I sent it.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *

    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


Midday Prayer

Tuesday: Of the Holy Angels

O Everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [5]

Short Verse

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

Psalm 34:15
William de Brailes, Ruth at Boaz’s Feet, detail, circa 1250. Manuscript illumination, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.

Midday Reading

Ruth 3:14—4:6, The widow’s next of kin receive her

14 So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17 saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’” 18 She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”

1 Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. 4 So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” 6 Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Midday Lesson

Boaz and the guardian-redeemer

“Naomi implied that Boaz would follow through with his promise at once. He obviously had a reputation for keeping his word and would not rest until his task was completed. Such reliable people stand out in any age and culture. Do others regard you as one who will do what you say? Keeping your word and following through on assignments should be high on anyone’s priority list. But building a reputation for integrity must be done one brick—one act—at a time.” [6]

“Boaz knew he could find his relative at the town gate. This was the center of activity. No one could enter or leave the town without traveling through the gate. Merchants set up their temporary shops near the gate, which also served as ‘city hall.’ Here city officials gathered to transact business. Because there was so much activity, it was a good place to find witnesses (Ruth 4:2) and an appropriate place for Boaz to make his transaction.” [7]

[14]

“References to elders [v. 4:2] who oversee the people of antiquity appear in the Gilgamesh Epic and in Hittite law. The Bible indicates that Moab and Midian had elders serving a similar function (Nu 22:4, 7) as did the Gibeonites (Jos 9:11). Over time, the term came to apply not only to those of a certain age, but to those who administrated the affairs of the community. They were assumed to be people who had experienced sufficient vicissitudes of life to be able to tap into those experiences to guide the community (1Ki 12:6–11; Job 12:20; Jer 26:17–19). Additionally, they sometimes represented the people before God (Lev 4:13–15), and would oversee murder trials and questions of asylum (Dt 19:11–12; 21:1–9; Jos 20:1–6) and disputes regarding virginity (Dt 22:15–19). They also sometimes served as social witnesses to issues of the guardian-redeemer and levirate marriages (Ru 4:9–11; Dt 25:5–10). The Bible notes that there were elders over tribal and clan affairs (e.g., Jdg 11:5), as well as over national affairs (Dt 31:28). In addition, cities had their own appointments (Dt 19:11–12).” [8]

In verse 4:3, “Boaz cleverly presented his case to the relative. First he brought in new information not yet mentioned in the story—Elimelech, Naomi’s former husband, still had some property in the area that was now for sale. As the nearest relative, this man had the first right to buy the land, which he agreed to do (Lev 25:25). But then Boaz said that according to the law, if the relative bought the property he also had to marry the widow (probably because Mahlon, Ruth’s former husband and Elimelech’s son, had inherited the property). At this stipulation, the relative backed down. He did not want to complicate his inheritance. Whatever his reason, the way was now clear for Boaz to marry Ruth.” [9]

In verse 6 the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” “The man fails to elaborate how serving as the guardian-redeemer with Ruth as part of the deal would endanger his estate. Since the purpose of the levirate marriage was to perpetuate the name of the deceased, the inheritance would be through another’s line than the guardian-redeemer himself. An investment to redeem the land for Naomi, who was apparently past childbearing age (1:11–13), would likely keep the property in his own line, and would be an attractive business proposal, but the prospect of marrying Ruth, who came with the property and the implied responsibilities, would indicate that not only would the investment to redeem the property be forfeited to any offspring that might be born, but there would be the added burden of supporting Ruth and Naomi, as well as any additional offspring that might come from the union.” [10]


Eventide Suffrages

Show us your mercy, O Lord; 

     And grant us your salvation. 

Clothe your ministers with righteousness; 

     Let your people sing with joy. 

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world; 

     For only in you can we live in safety. 

Lord, keep this nation under your care; 

     And guide us in the way of justice and truth. 

Let your way be known upon earth; 

     Your saving health among all nations. 

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; 

     Nor the hope of the poor be taken away. 

Create in us clean hearts, O God; 

     And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Amen. [11]

Short Verse

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.

2 Timothy 2:24

Eventide Reading

1 Timothy 5:9-16, The church assists widows

9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

Eventide Lesson

Specific advice on caring for widows 

In 1 Timothy 5:3-16, we find “[s]pecific advice on caring for widows. If there are no family members to do this, care belongs to the parish, for a widow has God as her guardian (Dt 10:18; Ps 67:6; Ps 145:9). A “real” widow (vv. 3, 5, 16), however, in turn cares for the parish through prayer (v. 5) and works of compassion (v. 10) while maintaining a pure and holy life (vv. 6, 7, 11-16). Special qualifications are given for those who are on the register of widows (vv. 9, 10); perhaps this was an “order” for charitable  service. Widows have from the start constituted a definable group within the Church (Acts 6:1; 9:39, 41).” [12]

Compline Prayer

Before the ending of the day, Creator of the world, we pray That with thy wonted favor thou Wouldst be our guard and keeper now. Amen. [13]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 15). Crossway.

[2] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Intercessions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 60). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Tickle, P. (2000). November. In The divine hours: Prayers for Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 204). New York, NY: Image Books.

[4] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Ministration of the Sick. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 461). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[5] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 200). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ruth. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5534). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[7] Ibid. 6

[8] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Ruth. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 1599). essay, Zondervan.

[9] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ruth. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5534). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[10] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Ruth. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 1599). essay, Zondervan.

[11] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite II. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 121-122). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[12] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Timothy. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1668). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[13] Bellarmine, G. (2021). May 7: Compline. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, and December 2021 (Kindle ed., p. 1849). Christian Books Today.

[14] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Gate Chamber at Arad [Image]. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 1592). essay, Zondervan.

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