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Mar14WedMarch 14, 2018Many times following testings, hardships, the onslaught of the enemy, you can see great blessing follow. When you are in the middle of it happening to you, you must remain faithful. Even though Job had no idea why his suffering came upon him, he refused to curse God and die. He said Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; Job 19:25 “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” During this time he remained true to God and God blessed him. James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” We must persevere also to see what God will bring about.The greatest blessing came to us because of Jesus. He went through terrible suffering at the hands of men. Isaiah 52:13 “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Luke 9:22 “And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Acts 4:11 “Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Our redeemer lives! Isaiah 41:14 “Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 59:20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 50:33 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. 34 Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.” Jesus said Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”But then go back to where Joshua 6:25 “Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” Then she is mentioned in Hebrews 11:31 “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” and James 2:25 “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?” Matthew 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David.”Then look at the book of Ruth. Ruth 1:1 “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land.” In Judges 20:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” They were paying for their disobedience and there was a famine in the land. In the book of Ruth, Naomi was going through terrible losses. Ruth 1:3 “Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.” After she returned to Bethlehem she said, Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”But then we see God’s plan unfold to his faithful. Ruth had said to Naoimi. “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”We see that Ruth was very loyal and God blessed her for it. Ruth 4:13 “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” 16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”God actually knows what he is doing believe it or not. This would be a good time for us to get that. Look at the people he has used down through the ages and know that he can use you also if you will just humble yourself and turn from your wicked ways. God tells us Deuteronomy 30:1 “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” The question is; will you believe?