Judges and Ruth
— Read and listen to the Bible being read at the same time; also, A. R. Wells, 1908, shares a (self-application) “tiny meditation” on each chapter.
Ruth and Naomi – a portrait by Gay Rowe
Click for a brief summary of the book of Judges.
1) Read the “tiny meditation” before and/or after you read the Bible chapter to help make a self-appllication of the scriptures read.
2) Want to use both your eye gate and ear gate in taking in the Word? Just click the “Read” chapter to get started. Click help if you need instructions on how to use the audio Bible.
Click to Read Judges 1—My Tributaries
The Lord would have me drive from my life all servants of Satan, all evil fancies, all doubtful ambitions, all worldly lusts. Shall I retain them as tributaries? Shall I think to make gain of them? There is no gain to be got from them. There is no gain but in obedience to the Lord.
Click to Read Judges 2—My Forgetfulness
Continually, like the Hebrews, I forget the conditions of prosperity and joy. Continually I am basing my life on world policy. Continually I am neglecting my charter, and disregarding my patent, and forfeiting my title. No wonder I lose my kingdom!
Click to Read Judges 3—My Deliverances
“The Lord raised up a deliverer for me” –how many sentences like that must I insert in my life story! And every time the necessity for the deliverer is my own folly and sin. How endless is God’s patience, how tireless are God’s resources, how active is God’s love!
Read Judges 4—My Glory
I am to go out against the foes of my God. I am to move at God’s command and not at my own desire. I am not to fight for my own glory. The glory may go to a woman, to a child! I am not striving for glory, but for obedience.
Click to Read Judges 5—My Praise
It is not I that fight when I go out before the Lord. The stars in their courses fight for me. All nature, all men, all subtle influences of heaven, fight for me. I will praise the Lord for my victories, since they are not mine. I will shout aloud. I will leap with joy. I will not be a churl with my thanksgiving.
Click to Read Judges 6—My Signs
God has given me more tokens of His presence and power than ever He gave Gideon; for I have Gideon’s, and mine also. God has proved Himself to me whenever I sought proof. He has not failed in any test. He has surpassed all His promises. He has given me every cause to trust Him, and every warrant to engage in His cause.
Gideon and the Angel, Judges 6:19-22
Click to Read Judges 7—My Sword
I call it my sword—my intellect, and strength, and opportunities, and talents. And it is my sword, as it was Gideon’s; my task, as it was Gideon’s. But it is also the sword of the Lord. Because it is His also, I shall venture to wield it, and I shall not dare to let it lie idle. Because it is His also, it will prevail.
Click to Read Judges 8—My Authority
When God places me in power though it be only power over a servant, or an assistant, or a little child, let me refuse to rule over my subordinate. Let me nobly say, as Gideon said, “I will not rule: the Lord shall rule.” Power is a trust from Him, as money is a trust, or any ability. And He shall do His will with His own.
Click to Read Judges 9—My Requital
Be it verily known to me that every least sin of mine shall return upon my head. Not only the great sins, terrible as Abimelech’s, but the sins of heedlessness, the little sins I have forgotten. They are not forgotten by God. If I do not procure forgiveness, they will not be forgotten by me.
Click to Read Judges 10—My Monotony
Though my life be humdrum or diversified, I find in it a sorrowful monotony of evil. I am like the ancient Hebrews, after each deliverance returning again to my sin. How manly, many times I have done this! Surely at some time God will say to me, “I will save you no more.” And my heart cannot blame Him.
Click to Read Judges 11—My Sacrifices
The Lord wants nothing from me to my hurt, or the hurt of any one dear to me. The Lord is not purchased by my pain. I need not buy His favors by my loss. I need not in any way make myself a Jephthah.
Daughter’s of Israel Bewailing Jephthah’s Daughter, Judges 11:37-40
Click to Read Judges 12—My Shibboleth
Let me be very sure that my shibboleth is a wise one. Let it truly separate between friends and foes,–not mine, but God’s. Let it be no trifling test, but one piercing to the root of the matter. For tests are needed, only let them accurately testify of wrong and right.
Click to Read Judges 13—My Offspring
Whether children, or deeds, or words, or the silent influence of character, every one gives birth to some offspring whereby the world is better or worse. To every one, therefore, comes the divine warning that came to the wife of Manoah: Keep away from all uncleanness, for the sake of your offspring and the world.
Angel Visits Manoah and His Wife, Judges 13:11-20
Click to Read Judges 14—My Jesting
My sport shall be such as becomes a man,–frank and gallant, innocent and happy, tender as a woman, yet sturdy as a hero. It shall be original, –no other’s way, but my own. It shall be thoughtful, not such as ever to shame me. By my play as by my work I am to be judged.
Samson Kills a Lion, Judges 14:5-6
Click to Read Judges 15—My Weapon
If the spirit of the Lord comes upon me, I shall seize whatever lies nearest, and I shall find it a tool of conquest. I will not fret for means; I will only strive for the spirit of the Lord. I will not seek out a way; I will seek Him who is the Way.
Cllick to Read Judges 16—My Delilah
What is it that weakens me for the service of the Lord? That is my Delilah. It will be something I love, something that fascinates me, something that draws me continually to itself. And I have no safety except by flight. I may not play with it, palter with it, try how near I can go to it. Soon the sharp razor, soon the sapped power, soon the blindness and the prison house.
Click to Read Judges 17—My Home Worship
I must not be outdone by idolaters, or by men that groped in the darkness of ancient times. If they sought God for their homes, how much more should I? If they would have household priests, how much more should I be a priest in my household? Let my house be a true temple of God, and let every room be a holy place.
Click to Read Judges 18—My Counsel
I cannot live close to God without helping all men around me to live closer to God. I cannot make for myself a household of God without leading others to seek God for their own households. Piety is blessedly contagious, and the fruits of holiness are desirable even in the eyes of worldlings.
Click to Read Judges 19—My Hospitality
At all cost, I must entertain strangers, for in so doing I am entertaining Christ. What matter though the strangers are aliens? Though they are disagreeable, and diseased, and their coming will expose me to ridicule and abuse? All this is only a disguise of my Lord, and my reward will be the greater if I pierce through the disguise and welcome Him.
Click to Read Judges 20—My Pity
For every deed of churlish selfishness, for every act of cruelty, for every curt indifference and neglect, my punishment is sure. I may delay it, but it will come. I may hold off the armies of revenge, but they will be in wait against me, and take me unaware. There is no cheating Jehovah.
Click to Read Judges 21—My Pity
After punishment, what? Forgetfulness and sorrow! After a man is deservedly cast down, what? Help him up again! O God, who art daily obliged to forgive me so much, guard me from censoriousness toward others! Let me not remember their sin, as I would not have Thee remember mine, and let me restore them as I would be restored.
Click for a brief summary of the book of Ruth.
Click to Read Ruth 1—My Fidelity
Am I a friend for all times? Is mine a fair-weather love? Do I cleave to others while they are above me and can uphold me, but cast them off when they fall into sorrow? Oh, for the faithfulness of Ruth! It is better than a crown of gold, and all the diamonds that ever shone.
Ruth Pleads to Go With Naomi, Ruth 1:8-18
Click to Read Ruth 2—My Friends
I am not afraid, if I am friendly, but God will raise up friends for me. My faithfulness will inspire fidelity in others, and my considerateness will make them thoughtful of me. I would not do good deeds in order to get a return of good, but that return is pleasant none the less!
Boaz made guardian of Ruth and Naomi.
Click to Read Ruth 3—My Righteousness
There is a dearer than delight, and that is honor. There is a more precious thing than joy, and that is uprightness. If my pleasure ought to be another’s, it shall be no pleasure in my life, its name for me shall be aversion.
Click to Read Ruth 4—My Reward
For every good deed I do with the Lord’s strength, the Lord Himself recompenses me many fold. I am almost ashamed to take it, for the strength was not mine, nor was the deed mine. How good is my God to me!
Note on Artwork: We try to share the orginal source of photos and paintings used on this site when known. Most are in the public domain category and several were found at lavistachurchofchrist.org and christianimagesource.org and are used with permission.