Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
With this message we begin the life-study of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. My burden in the messages on these three books can be expressed by the following four statements:
1) Joshua led Israel to take the God-promised land that it might become the land of Immanuel (Josh. 1:6; Isa. 8:8).
2) Elimelech swerved from the rest of the good land due to the trial of a punishing famine in the God-given land (Ruth 1:1-2).
3) Ruth, an alienated Moabitess, turned to Bethlehem, the place of the holy birth of Christ, and entered into the realm of the divine economy (Ruth 1:16, 19; Micah 5:2).
4) Boaz married Ruth and produced the royal house of David by Jehovah that Christ might be brought in for the accomplishment of God’s economy (Ruth 4:13, 21-22; Matt. 1:1, 5-6, 16).
In studying the histories and prophecies of the Old Testament, we need the full scope, the full view, of the entire Scriptures concerning God’s eternal economy for Christ and the church, which consummates in the New Jerusalem. This will render us not only a broader view but also the deeper, intrinsic significance of God’s purpose in presenting to us the histories and giving us the prophecies of the Old Testament. The scope, the center, and the intrinsic significance of all the histories and the prophecies of the Old Testament must be Christ and His Body, which will ultimately consummate in the New Jerusalem for God’s eternal economy.
For God to accomplish such an eternal economy of His, He needed to create the heavens for the earth, and the earth for man (Zech. 12:1). God created man in His own image and after His likeness with a spirit for man to contact Him, receive Him, keep Him, and take Him as man’s life and content. It was very sad that this man got fallen from God and from God’s purpose for His economy.
However, out of fallen humankind God chose a man by the name of Abraham and his descendants and made them a particular people as His dear elect among all the nations (the Gentiles). It took God over four hundred years to produce, constitute, and form such an elect to replace the Adamic race for the fulfilling of His eternal economy. God brought such an elect of His through trials, sufferings, both in Egypt and in the wilderness that they might be trained, disciplined, and qualified to coordinate with Him in taking His promised land for Christ on this earth and in providing the proper persons to bring forth Christ into the human race.
To take possession of God’s promised land for Christ and to provide the proper persons to bring forth Christ into the human race are the two major points of the section of the history in the Old Testament in the three books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. These two main points, to take the land for Christ and to provide the bona fide ancestors for Christ, are the spirit of the history from Joshua to Ruth. They are the intrinsic significance of this section of the Old Testament history. We have to have a clear vision concerning this. Otherwise, our life-study on these three books will be in vain, just like the studies of so many historians, Bible students, and Scripture teachers, either Jewish or Christian.
If by the Lord’s mercy we see such a vision, this section of the history in the Old Testament will benefit us the same as the New Testament does. Such a vision will help us to see that the history of God’s people on earth is actually the history of the working God energizing among His chosen people in the Old Testament and even the history of the operating God energizing in His redeemed people and having them energize themselves together with Him for the accomplishment of His eternal economy concerning Christ and His increase, which will consummate in the New Jerusalem.
I hope that through the life-study of these three books we all will see and realize that our living, our daily walk, our schooling, our job, and our business must be a part of God’s history in His marvelous and excellent move on the earth today. To be a normal Christian, to be today’s overcomers, to answer the Lord’s present calling, and to meet the Lord’s present need in His recovery, it is altogether not sufficient simply to be a so-called good brother or good sister, attending the church meetings regularly, behaving rightly, and living a life which is somewhat perfect in the eyes of men. We need to be one with God in His history, moving, and energizing in His loving overcomers; that is, we need to be one with God in life, in living, and in our entire doing today on this earth! We need to write God’s today’s history! We need to march on as one with the energizing God! In Him! With Him! By Him! And for Him! We need to be vital, living, and active! We need to be today’s Joshuas and Calebs to take possession of the God-promised land for Christ that we may become His possession. We need to be today’s Ruths to turn to God’s economy, to enter into the land of Immanuel, and to marry ourselves to Christ that we may bring forth Christ to meet the need of men today. This should be the intrinsic life-study of these three books—Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. The issue of this life-study should be the gaining of the God-promised land for Christ and the bringing forth of the excellent Christ to meet today’s need of both God and men.
In light of the foregoing, let us now begin our life-study of the book of Joshua.
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