Simple Bible Reading Guide
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"The revelation of Your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." —Psalms 119:130
God's word is intended for all people. For thousands of years God has communicated to millions of simple people through His word. In fact, many things are hidden from the learned and clever but revealed to the merest children (Lk 10:21). Of course, God's word is sometimes so difficult to interpret that we need the Church to teach us. Therefore, highly academic Bible study has its place, but it is not the principal approach to God's word. The word is not primarily for an educated elite but for everyday people praying and reading by the power of the Spirit.
Nevertheless, not many books about the Bible are written to help the average person. What most people need is something short, simple, and practical that encourages, motivates and guides. We need something that will help us read the Biblical texts and not just about the text. This is the purpose of this simple Bible reading guide. "We have aimed to please those who prefer simple reading, as well as to make it easy for the studious who wish to commit things to memory, and to be helpful to all (2 Mc 2:25).
Note: The breakdown of the Bible into chapters (although not always adequate) has served God's people for centuries. So in general we will use a chapter-by-chapter structure for our comments.
Be sure to read each chapter of the Bible along with the introductory comments.
P.S. We have prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament about our choice of the verses in this reading guide. We hope the Scriptures will have a prophetic, life-changing power for you.
Ru 1 — SOCIAL SUICIDE
"Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16
Ruth the Moabite committed social suicide when she insisted on returning with her mother-in-law to Jerusalem after both of their husbands died. Being a foreigner, there was little chance for Ruth to be married and have a livelihood.
Prayer: Father, make me faithful in serving my brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Promise: "May the Lord be kind to you as you were to the departed and to me!" 1:8
Ru 2 — A REWARD FOR YOUR LIFE
"May the Lord reward what you have done! May you receive a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come for refuge." Ruth 2:12
The Lord rewarded Ruth's faithfulness by giving her protection and provision in leading her to glean in the fields of Boaz.
Prayer: Father, by my faithfulness to You, may I give You an opportunity to reward me.
Promise: "May I prove worthy of your kindness, my lord: you have comforted me, your servant, with your consoling words; would indeed that I were a servant of yours!" 2:13
Ru 3 — "POPPING THE QUESTION"
"In the middle of the night, however, the man gave a start and turned around to find a woman lying at his feet. He asked, 'Who are you?' And she replied, 'I am your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of your cloak over me, for you are my next of kin.' " Ruth 3:8-9
Naomi told Ruth to propose marriage to Boaz. Ruth "popped the question" in a shocking way, and the Lord showed His faithfulness to the faithful Ruth. When we're faithful to God and His people, we will see the faithfulness of God.
Prayer: Father, bless the marriages of all who are reading this.
Promise: "May the Lord bless you, my daughter!" 3:10
Ru 4 — A GREAT WOMAN
"The neighbor women gave him his name, at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi. They called him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David." Ruth 4:17
Ruth not only married Boaz; she also became the great-grandmother of David, from whose house came Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God. True victory, success, prosperity, and happiness are not attained by worldly means but by faithfulness to God and His people.
Prayer: Father, may I lose my life so I can gain it (Lk 9:24).
Promise: "May the Lord make this wife come into your house like Rachel and Leah, who between them built up the house of Israel." 4:11
Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996
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