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Destination: Ruth 1-4 - Ruth 1-4

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In our fourteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the little romantic book of Ruth. We'll see how the book of Ruth shows the godly courage and love of two very different women from very different backgrounds. We'll meet some amazing characters on this flight who become key people in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

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10/24/2007
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Destination: Ruth 1-4
Ruth 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
In our fourteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the little romantic book of Ruth. We'll see how the book of Ruth shows the godly courage and love of two very different women from very different backgrounds. We'll meet some amazing characters on this flight who become key people in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
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Bible from 30,000 Feet, The

Bible from 30,000 Feet, The

Have you ever wanted to learn how The Bible fits together? The Bible from 30,000 Feet is an overview study through the entire Bible, hitting the highlights of its people, places, events and themes in about a year. This series will give you a coherent understanding of the holy word of God.



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Detailed Notes

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Interactive Travel Guide

The name of the book comes from one of the main characters, Ruth, whose name means friendship. There are two Bible books named for women and six that are named for their main characters (Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther). The book of Ruth shows the godly courage and love of two very different women from different backgrounds. It also connects David's genealogy to Moab along with highlighting a Gentile thread running through Messiah's bloodline (Rahab the Canaanite and Ruth the Moabite).


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

1446-1406 B.C.
The Israelites wander in the wilderness

1405-1400 B.C.
The conquest of Canaan

1380-1050 B.C.
The time of the Judges and the events of Ruth

1050 B.C.
Saul becomes king of Israel

1010 B.C.
David begins to reign at Hebron

1003 B.C.
David reigns all over Israel

970 B.C.
David dies and Solomon becomes King


TRIP PLANNER
In the book of Ruth we see the story of romantic Grace lived through a type of Christ called the kinsman redeemer. Ruth a Moabite woman whose husband has died. Naomi, her mother-in-law, invites her to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest where she meets Boaz. The book of Ruth tells the story of how Boaz becomes her kinsman redeemer.

1. Ruth's Decision to stay with Naomi - Ruth chapter 1
2. Ruth's Devotion to Serve Naomi - Ruth chapter 2
3. Ruth's Desire to See Redemption - Ruth chapter 3
4. Ruth's Destiny to secure a Legacy - Ruth chapter 4


PLACES OF INTEREST

Bethlehem - Means "House Of Bread." The city where the story of Ruth occurs.

Ephrathites - Ephrathah was another name for the region for Bethlehem.

Moab - Is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In ancient times, it was home to the kingdom of the Moabites, a people often in conflict with their Israelite neighbors to the west. Moab occupied a plateau about 3,000 feet above sea level of the Mediterranean, or 4,300 feet above the Dead Sea, and rising gradually from the north to the south. It was bounded on the west by the Dead Sea and the southern section of the Jordan River; on the east by Ammon and the Arabian desert, from which it was separated by low, rolling hills; and the south by Edom.


PEOPLE OF INTEREST

Boaz - He had quite the family line. He was the son of Rahab, the husband of Ruth and the great grandfather of King David. Boaz was a very wealthy man who lived in Bethlehem. When a destitute Naomi returned to Bethlehem with her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth, Ruth went into the fields of Boaz to gather scraps of grain for their table. He acted kindly towards Ruth and instructed his farm workers to leave extra sheaves of barley for her to gather. Boaz learned that Ruth's deceased husband was a distant relative of his. Ruth had another relative of her late husband who was closer than Boaz. By law, the other relative was obligated to marry Ruth, as stated in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Boaz confronted the other relative with this law, and after the relative refused to marry Ruth, Boaz agreed to marry Ruth, and to buy the estate of Ruth's deceased husband.

Chilion - The youngest son of Elimelech and Naomi. He married Orpah, died and left her a widow. His name means "Failing."

Elimelech - Along with his family, this Jew (an Ephrathite) left the town of Bethlehem during a famine. He went to Moab where he died along with his two sons. His name means "God is King."

Mahlon - The oldest son of Elimelech and Naomi. He married Ruth in Moab. He died and left her a widow. His name means "Sickly."

Naomi - The wife/widow of Elimelech who would lose her husband and sons. She was left in a foreign land with her two daughters-in-law.

Obed - The son of Boaz and Ruth. He would become the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. His name means "One Who Servers."

Orpha - She became the widow of Chilion. After his death, she remained in Moab.

Ruth - A woman of great love and loyalty. She was a pagan in Moab, who through God's grace would accept the God of Naomi, the God of Israel and become the great grandmother of King David, and be a part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.


FUN FACTS

Barley fields in Bethlehem - The climate of the ancient land of Israel was a great medium for growing wild grain (wheat and barley); cool moist air from the Mediterranean stimulated early growth and maturity, before the hot dry "hamisn" winds (the same as our Santa Ana winds) from Africa and Arabia could parch their delicate forms. To enjoy the dense fields of wheat and barley, the Israelite harvesters had to be at the right place at the right time -- before the ripe ears of grain shattered at the time of maturity.

City gate in Bethlehem - Since gates were the center of city life, it is not surprising that scripture writers often described important officials as "sitting in the gate." Understanding the important role of city gates brings new light to many biblical stories: When God's angels arrived in Sodom, Lot was "sitting in the gateway," apparently serving as an influential judge in that evil city. Boaz went to the town gate to settle legal matters regarding his marriage to Ruth.

Messiah in Ruth - Messiah can be seen through Boaz who is presented as a type of kinsman redeemer. Like Jesus, he was both qualified and willing to redeem his people. The term "redeem" is used eight times in Ruth. Just as Boaz did for Ruth, Jesus became our Redeemer to pay all of our debts and our avenger who now defends us against our adversaries, our mediator to accomplish our reconciliation and He is the Bridegroom.

Near Kinsman - He was the unnamed close relative of Ruth who passed up the chance to marry her. In the King James Version, Boaz addresses him as "such a one."

Threshing floor in Bethlehem - Threshing Floors were used in the ancient world to separate grain from the chaff. It was a two-step process. First the stalks were spread on the threshing floor and crushed with either and oxen-pulled board with spikes to break the heads of grain from the stalks or with just oxen walking over it or by beating them with heavy sticks. The 2nd step was to use a pitchfork to toss the broken stalks into the air and let the wind blow the lighter chaff to the side while the grain fell directly back to the ground. The process is called winnowing.

Transcript

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Open your Bibles to the book of Ruth, chapter 1. We'll be going through the whole book tonight, but that's really not a big deal because there are only four chapters. Given what we've already done in the Bible from 30,000 feet, like covering the whole book of Deuteronomy in one night, I think we can cover the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is the only book in the Old Testament named after an ancestor of Jesus Christ; that ought to get our interest up. It's also the only book in the Old Testament named after a non-Jew, somebody who is a Gentile as we discover Ruth is. It's also one of the only two books in the Old Testament and for that matter in the entire Bible named after a woman. The other is the book of Esther. Ruth and Esther have that lofty notable privilege of being named after two wonderful Godly women. The name Ruth means friendship and she really shows her color in that area. It's a story of God's providence; how He arranges natural things to correspond with His supernatural will. It is also a story of redemption; of how there is a relative, he's called a kinsmen or a gaal in Hebrew, who provides a very important redemption for a family.
If you wanted to give an outline to this book you could simply give it four points by the four chapters: chapter 1 is love's resolve; Ruth makes a resolute commitment to follow Naomi to another country and to adopt the country and the culture but more than that, the God of the Children of Israel. Chapter 2 is love's response; in response to the decision, she's there in poverty gleaning out in the fields and she meets a man by the name of Boaz and responds to his initiation. Chapter 3 is love's request; based upon the response, she now makes a request for her family and herself to be redeemed. Chapter 4 is love's reward; she gets redeemed, the family land goes back to the original owners and she is wed to Boaz.
Chapter 1, verse 1: "Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons." We notice in verse 1 that it was a time of rebellion; it's the time when the judges ruled. If you remember from our study in the book of Judges, those weren't great times. There was apostasy and an ungodly fervor and an attitude in all of the people. We don't exactly know when the book of Ruth should be placed in terms of the time table of the book of Judges but it's probably best to and most scholars do, place it around Judges chapter 10 when a guy named Jaer was the judge in the land. So the book of Ruth probably took place when Jaer was there. It's a time of rebellion and it's a time of relativism. The very last verse in the book of judges says: "There was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Finally, it was a time of retribution, God was judging the people. It says in verse 1: "There was famine in the land," and we don't know exactly why. There are a lot of reasons that famines could happen: drought, wind, hail, locusts, or foreign raiders coming in and taking the crops. Whatever the reason was it doesn't matter and this we know from Deuteronomy. The productivity of the land and the rain that would come was in direct proportion to the obedience of the people. "If you obey Me you'll have a fruitful time and if you don't, you won't." So now there is a famine which is part of the judgment. Verse 2: "The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was," (pleasant), "Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion--Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there." Most of you know that names were given at birth either because of the reaction of the parents to something that is going on in their lives or a circumstance at birth. It makes us wonder what was going on because of the names of these two kids. Mahlon means sicklyor weakling; what a horrible thing to call your son. "What's his name?" "Sicko." The other one wasn't much better. Chilion means crybaby, pining. Most parents have this morbid fear of having weird kids. Like, what if my kid turns out really weird and ugly. And all kids are interesting looking when they're born. You sort of have to get over some things and get past some other things in order to say, "Oh, how beautiful. It looks just like you!" I'm sure it probably wasn't that bad. This simply could be the reaction of a first time father seeing two babies being born and not knowing what to say or what to make of it. "Oh no, look it happened; sicko and crybaby! Those are the names of my boys." Now the name of the father is most interesting; Elimelech; it comes from the two Hebrew words, Eli which is "my God" and melek, king. His name meant my God is king, and yet he never really lived up to it. Why do I say that? Because, "If your God is king, Elimelech, why do you need to leave the land of covenant, Israel, and go to foreign soil instead of just trusting God where you're at." He would say, "Well, because there's a famine in the land." "Yes, but you are going over to a place that is a sworn enemy of the Jews, the land of Moab." Now the plains of Moab were about 3500 feet above sea level; they got about 16 inches of rain per year; and the soil is very porous so it stays green and verdant. It was beautiful over there. If you're around Bethlehem, you could get up to a ridge and you could see right over the Dead Sea and into the land of Moab and it looked beautiful to him. Except, it's not your land, they are enemies of the Jews, they have child sacrifice, they don't worship Yahweh, they don't worship your God but worship a god they call Kamosh and they worshiped that god by child sacrifice. So for him to go there was a step of unbelief but he made it under pressure. You know what? A lot of us make bad choices under pressure. Finances aren't what they are so you take out the second mortgage, then the third, the fourth, and the fifth and soon you're bankrupt. You did it under pressure. Under pressure he moves over to the other side. Verse 3: "Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband." Now there is a lot of heartache compressed in these three verses. Picture the scene: they move over there; they settle down into a nice four-bedroom tent, two-camel garage; they got it made; maybe they joined the donkey lodge or whatever they had back then. Then one day, Naomi gets a call from the Moab emergency room at the local hospital saying her husband Elimelech has just passed away. Her world ended. Now she is all alone with her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion and eventually they will die. One commentator says, "He lost his life seeking his livelihood and he found a grave where he sought a home." Remember Jesus said, "Whoever seeks his own life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." She loses her husband and as time goes on she loses her two sons which means she loses the family name which also means that she'll lose her inheritance. There is now a danger of that whole family allotment of land being lost because all the males are gone and she has nothing left. Whatever you are going through as a Christian right now, know this, the very worst that God may have for you is better than the very best that the devil has for you. You might think that you know better and that this is an extenuating circumstance so you make wrong choices that are not spiritual, biblical, or Godly; it's better to take the worse that God has for you than the best that Satan has for you. But now we will watch and see that not only does God rule in human affairs but he also overrules in human affairs. Verse 6: "Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah." This is fascinating. God is now on Naomi's mind. In verses 1 through 5 God is not mentioned at all because it's the story of a family's life apart from God. Suddenly in verses 6, 8, 9 and 13, God is mentioned. She is God conscious one more time and she even uses the term, Yahweh, the covenant name of God. This is how I take it: if suffering leads you to God consciousness, is it bad? We say, "All suffering must be bad." I don't think so. If my suffering leads me to God and God consciousness and God dependence, I would say that's good and not bad. David even said in one of the Psalms, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I seek your Law," (or Your Word). If suffering leads you to God than learn to embrace it and even thank God for it.
Now we come to one of the most decisive moments in the book. For that matter, one of the most important and decisive moments in all of history. That's quite a statement! If you at that time were able to look at different parts of the world you would find some monumental things happening at this very moment. At this time in history the Neolithic Era was just ending; the new era of Greece was just beginning over in the Greco Macedonian region; the great Sui Dynasty was in full swing in China; and in Central and South America the Mayan Dynasty was growing very strong. These were all monumental historical events. With that in mind, who cares about a few women in Moab having a conversation on a road? Well, I just said it was one of the most decisive moments in history and here's why. One day Jesus Christ will be born in Bethlehem and He'll be born there because it's the city of David. David was born in Bethlehem because of his father Jesse and grandfather Obed who is the son of Ruth. The reason he is the son of Ruth is because she is going to marry a guy in Bethlehem named Boaz. If this decision isn't made just right, tell the Magi not to come to Bethlehem. There will be no reason for them to come because no Savior will be born and no redemptive history will take place. This is a very crucial crossroad in redemptive history. I love that little verse tucked away in Zechariah 4, "Don't despise the days of small beginnings." Here is a small beginning.
Verse 11: "But Naomi said, 'Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?'" So daughter number one, Orpah goes back home to Moab; she's not going to hang around. Her mom-in-law said, "I'm releasing you and going back to my home, you stay here in Moab in your home." So Orpah says, "Good-bye" and she walks off. Verse 16: "But Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.'" Talk about a commitment; this is a steadfast commitment. She says, "You know, entreat me not to leave you; please don't bring up again for me to go back home because I'm not going back home. I'm burning my bridges and I'm going with you and have no return ticket; I'm sold out and committed." It's a huge commitment to leave everything you were familiar with and go to a new place, new people, new culture, new language, and a new God. I wish Christians were this committed. Some people say, "Well, I'm very involved." That's great, now be very committed. There's a big difference. A cow is involved but a pig is committed. A cow gives milk but a pig gives himself. She's committed; I'm giving myself, not only to you and this new relationship but to the God of Israel. It was a spiritual commitment, "Your God shall be my God." They arrive back in Bethlehem. "But she said to them, 'Do not call me Naomi;'" (pleasant), "'call me Mara,'" (which means bitter), "'for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?' So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest." That's put in there by the Holy Spirit for a very important reason which we'll understand in a moment. It's about mid to late April when they show up in Bethlehem. So that's love's resolve; Ruth clings to Naomi.
Chapter 2 is love's response; it's a romantic scene. It's the first time Boaz and Ruth meet. Do you remember when you first met your wife or husband? Try to get in touch with what you remember when you first met your spouse. I think it's healthy to do that and it's healthy to go back and remember the first love relationship. How the relationship started; how it got kindled; and how it developed. I've met a lot of people that say, "I definitely remember when I met him and he's not what I thought he would be." Somebody once said that good advice for marriage is to keep your eyes wide open before you enter marriage and half shut thereafter. Chapter 2, verse 1: "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz." We understand now that Naomi was once a part of a very aristocratic Bethlehem family that owned a lot of land and this is a near relative; a kinsmen; a gaal is the Hebrew term, kinsman, redeemer. Verse 2: "So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.' And she said to her, 'Go, my daughter.'" There was a law in the Old Testament called the Law of Gleaning which stated: if you own land, at harvest time you go through and harvest but you leave a lot of it behind; you don't go a second time and you leave the corners full of produce so that the poor, the fatherless, the widow and the stranger can go cull through the fields and get whatever is left. It was a way of taking care of the poor; it was the ancient welfare system. It's interesting that it wasn't just given to them, they had to go out in the fields and work for it; they had to glean it and work so it built dignity into it. That is what is happening here. Verse 3: "Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers," (this is the boss speaking to his crew!), "'The Lord be with you!' And they answered him, 'The Lord bless you!' Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, 'Whose young woman is this?'" This doesn't sound like the work crews I've had experience with. You probably wouldn't hear this out on a construction site. I don't even hear this necessarily around Christian organizations all the time. I've been in Christian organizations and you walk through them and someone might say, "What's up?" I can get that response at a grocery store from a pagan. I think God's people in any work environment and in any Christian organization and certainly at church should have the highest, utmost respect for the people they come in contact with. "How are you today? God bless you! The Lord be with you." This is happening right here with Boaz. He's a spiritual man. Gals, marry a spiritual man! If you are going to find someone to marry, number one on the list should be that he loves Jesus Christ and he's a spiritual man because if that man becomes your husband he is in a sense going to be like Jesus Christ to you. He's in that very important relationship of love and submission. So you want to look for someone who's going to be like Christ to you. That doesn't necessarily mean that you look for someone with long hair, robe, sandals and a staff; but someone who is very Christ like because the Bible says, "Don't be unequally yoked together with unbelievers," or as the revised standard version puts it, "mismated." Notice in verse 2 Ruth said to Naomi, "'Please let me go to the field and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.'" In Verse 7, she says to Boaz: "'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.'" Verse 10: "So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, 'Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?'" Do you hear the graciousness in her voice to her mother-in-law and then twice to Boaz who owns the field. There's an air of grace, "Please mother-in-law, would you let me go to the field and sweat it out and work hard all day?" What if your kids had that attitude? "Mom, dad, can I please clean my room and then can I please wash your cars and then can I please vacuum?" You'd have to go to therapy for six months if that happened! As I read through this it shows me that the trials of her past have not crushed her spirit. She lost her father in law and her husband; she took a long journey and is now in a land where she is under the laws of poverty and has to glean out in the field and she still has a grace about her. Even though she suffered immensely and lost considerably she has grace. Compare her to John chapter 5 and the woman at the well of Samaria. She had five husbands and was a crusty old character and it showed in the way she answered Jesus Christ in those terse little comments that were weathered with mistrust. A woman's attitude makes her beautiful or ugly. It's not about the face or the body; but more importantly it's about the attitude. Peter said in 1 Peter chapter 3: "It's not the fancy hair, gold jewelry or fine cloths that should make you beautiful. No your beauty should come from within you; the beauty of a gently and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God." This girl was beautiful especially because of this attitude. Verse 11: "And Boaz answered and said to her, 'It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.'" Again, he's showing kindness and sensitivity to Ruth. The relationship, though in its nascent stage is off to a great start. In fact, relationships that don't have kindness, respect and sensitivity aren't built on a good foundation. If you want to succeed in a relationship make sure that you have kindness, respect, gratitude and this kind of attitude. It's like the old English proverb, "You're going to catch a lot more flies with honey than you will with vinegar." So they are sweet to each other.
Verse 12: "'The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.'" Boaz knew that she was a Godly woman and that she made a conversion experience. She left her god, Kamosh on the other side of the Jordan and now she is following Yahweh, the God of Israel. He remembers that he heard about the decision she made to Naomi, "Your God will be my God and your people will be my people," and he's remarking on that. Proverbs 31 says: "Beauty is vain or passing but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." It's an unfortunate truth, but in our culture, the one crowning value is outward, physical beauty. Look at any magazine rack and I rest my case. That's the value people look at. "Oh, I wish I had that body." There is nothing wrong with looking good, whether male or female; any barn looks better painted. That's just a fact for all of us and we all fight things like age; but the most important crowning value in Scripture is not the outward and the physical but once again it's the inward.
Verse 15: "And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, 'Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.'" So after this experience, Ruth goes home and tells her mother-in-law Naomi. Naomi is all excited and encourages her in this process. Verse 20: "Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, 'Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!' And Naomi said to her, 'This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.'" You can just see her being a little matchmaker thinking, "This is really good. You want to know this guy; this could be from the Lord." I love this because she's not saying, "I want you to never look at another man because nobody could be the husband that my son was to you." She is fully and totally engaged in this process.
There is an undercurrent in this book that is perhaps the central undercurrent of the book of Ruth. It is the providence of God and this is what I mean. God's providence is where God takes ordinary events in life and arranges them for an extraordinary result. God providentially moves the pieces on the chessboard. Providence is very different from the miraculous. I think we use the term miracle way too often and we depreciate the real meaning of the word. A miracle is where God intervenes or overrides natural law. For a man to stand upright and walk on water - that's a miracle because the laws of nature being as they are wouldn't allow water to displace the weight of an upright human being; so for that to happen, it's a miracle, the intervention of and overriding of natural law. A resurrection from the dead is a miracle. It doesn't happen every day; dead people, once dead don't get back up. The providence of God is really cool. Providence is originally a Latin word, provideo, to see in advance; pro, before; video, to see. God sees your life in advance and He's got the video and He splices it and changes it and arranges natural circumstances for a supernatural result. There are a couple of things to notice about the providence of God so far. First, timing. Naomi and Ruth show up in Bethlehem at a very particular time. Chapter 1, verse 22: "It was the beginning of the barley harvest." That's when God's laws for caring for the poor would be in place. That means during this time of mid to late April you would have professional farmers and poor gleaners in the fields together. So you have Ruth and Boaz in the field together; the timing is providential. The second thing that's providential is the place. It says, "In the fields of Boaz." In Bethlehem there were lots of grain fields; at least several dozen if not more. The word Bethlehem comes from two Hebrew words, bahyith which is house or place and lekhem which is bread. The house of bread. Bethlehem was the bread basket of ancient Israel; it's where people grew their grain. This wasn't just any field; it was a special field in this bread basket of Israel. Chapter 2, verse 3: "She happened to come to a part of the field belonging to Boaz."
In chapter 3 I feel like singing, "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match," remember that song from that old movie? Naomi is planning, she is the matchmaker, but it is really a match made in heaven. God is behind the scenes working this whole thing out. Verse 1: "Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?'" You can see her leading up to this. "'Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.'" That means they toss it up in the air and the Mediterranean breezes would separate the chaff from the wheat in the late afternoon. "'Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.'" The threshing floors were elevated and they were usually bedrock and the grain was placed on a pile on the threshing floor. "'Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.'" Naomi is very practical. "Sweetheart, wash yourself, put on your best dress, perfume yourself and look like a knockout; look beautiful and make yourself appealing and then go in and pop the question to him; don't let this guy get away." That is exactly what happens and she agrees. Boaz lays down at night in the threshing floor and Ruth comes in, uncovers his feet, he wakes up (it's a weird thing to happen and it's cold.) Verse 9: " And he said, 'Who are you?' So she answered, 'I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.'" You know what she is doing here? She's proposing to him; it's a Sadie Hawkins thing. She is saying, "You're a relative, we lost land, I'm available, will you marry me." I won't get into all the details but in Deuteronomy chapter 25 is an odd law of the Levirate marriage which says, "If a couple gets married and the husband dies and leaves the wife childless, she will go to his brother or a near relative for him to raise up seed so that his family won't disappear in Israel. Verse 10: "Then he said, 'Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.'" What does he mean? Boaz is probably about 45 or 50 years old at the time; remember he's a contemporary of Naomi and Elimelech and she's a young lady and he says, "You know, you didn't go chasing young men but you waited and went through the law of Israel's procedures. "'And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you--good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.'" Now there is no moral or immoral overtones here. This is a very common custom in the Middle East. He is there at the threshing floor and she proposes and he would place his garment or some clothing over her which says, "I will protect you and I will take you as my wife if this all works out." It's symbolic of his intent and there was no sexual relationship that night; they were in separate places. She was a virtuous woman and he was a virtuous man and they are both content to wait to see if the Lord is in this. Once again, women, watch for this trait in men. If you ever are dating a young man who says, "I can't wait until we're married because I love you too much so let's hop in the sack now." Hit him right between the eyes and knock some sense into him because he is stupid. The Bible says that's not love. Love is patient and it will wait. When he says, "Honey, baby, sweetie, I love you," what he really means is, "I love me and I want you." Love will wait. This couple is waiting and going through all of the legal things to see if the Lord is in it.
Chapter 4 is love's reward. Verse 1: "Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by." His name isn't given but he was closer in relationship to Naomi and thus Ruth. "So Boaz said, 'Come aside, friend, sit down here.' So he came and sat down." This is basically a courtroom scene. The gate of the city was a large enclosure and it's where all the judges and the elders sat and where all the business was taken care of. "And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, 'Sit down here.' So they sat down. Then he said to the close relative, 'Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. And I thought to inform you, saying, 'Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.' And he said, 'I will redeem it.'" In ancient times, if a Jewish family lost their property it could be brought back at the appropriate time; there was a redemption clause in it. Let me paint the picture. If a land transaction happened, there were two title deeds that were drawn up; two scrolls. On the inside were stipulations. If the land is lost the person who wants to redeem it has to meet these qualifications: he has to be a relative, he has to be able to pay whatever price is stipulated and he has to be willing. The seal was rolled up in a scroll and it was sealed so it could not be opened. One was kept in a safe place and the other was kept by the seller. So both the buyer and the seller had access. Verse 5: "Then Boaz said, 'On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.'" Notice how slick Boaz is. At first he doesn’t even mention it. "Hey there's a land deal coming up." "Oh, well, I think I want to buy it." "Well, there is a little clause that says if you buy it you also have to marry the chick and by the way she's a Gentile." "And the close relative said, 'I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.'" In other words, "Look, I'm married and I have children. I'd love to buy the land and acquire more and bring it back into the family but if it means buying her or having her as a wife, I can't do that; I'm spoken for. Verse 9: "And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, 'You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.'" Verse 12: "So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son." Verse 17: "And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David."
Have you ever seen a person and in observing that person you think, "You know, that person reminds me of somebody else." When I read about Boaz that's exactly what I think. He reminds me a lot of Jesus Christ. In fact, one of the clearest pictures of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament is Boaz, a bridegroom who's very tender and buys a field to get a bride. He wants a bride but he buys the field and he gets a Gentile bride; like the church. Jesus said, "The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and hid and for the joy over it he sells all that he has and buys the field." That's not a picture of us selling everything to get Christ; you don't have anything of worth to get Christ nor can you buy Him. It's a picture of Christ selling all, giving all to buy the world, the field, that He might have the bride, us.
I want to close with this thought. In Revelation chapter 5, we have a similar circumstance. John said, "And I look and behold the one who sat on the throne had in His right hand a scroll that was sealed with seven seals and it was written inside and on the back. And there was no one found worthy in heaven or under the earth to take the scroll and unloose the seals. And the angels said, 'Who is worthy to take the scroll?' And no one was found." John said, "I wept like a baby"; "I became Chilion. I started weeping convulsively because no one could redeem it." What's going on here? The same thing but with higher stakes. It's a land deal but the land in question in Revelation chapter 5 is the whole earth. Revelation chapter 5 is the title deed to the entire earth that is at stake and Jesus Christ is the One in that chapter who takes the scroll and unlooses the seals because He meets all of the qualifications. Qualification number one, He's a near relative. By the way, that's the purpose for the incarnation. He became a human being, a blood relative, he became one of us. So Jesus Christ is related to the human race. Qualification number two, He was able to pay the price. Boaz was very wealthy. He could easily afford buying this land. Jesus Christ bought it with His own blood. Qualification number three, Jesus, like Boaz, was willing. Jesus said, "No man takes my life from Me, I lay it down of Myself. I have the power both to lay it down and to take it up again." Jesus willingly went to the cross.
Here's how it worked. God created the earth. Adam was the Benedict Arnold that forfeited the land by his disobedience to God. Romans chapter 5 says: "By one man sin entered the world and death through sin so death spread to all men." That's Adam; he lost the land. Jesus Christ is the second Adam and the only One worthy to take the scroll and perform the right as kinsman redeemer.
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, the words of that famous song by George Beverly Shay come to my mind, "Oh the wonder of it all, just to think that God loves me." Lord to think that the Lord Jesus Christ would pay the ultimate price to buy the field, the world that He might have the bride, us, is staggering to us. We're so thankful Lord that we're Your bride and we can't wait for the full redemption coming down the pike when You return and when You set up Your Kingdom and You redeem the earth and when you purge it through judgment and the tribulation, and redeem and restore it via the millennium. Thank You Lord. Father I pray in Jesus' name that if someone has walked away from You and lost the joy of salvation or maybe were living under the idea that they have been saved because they were church goers or they believed in a supreme being, tonight they realize that it's not enough. Lord I pray You bring them to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

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7/11/2007
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Destination: Genesis 1-11
Genesis 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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We begin The Bible from 30,000 Feet with a tour of Genesis Chapters 1-11. On this flight we'll travel all the way back to the very beginning - The Creation. We'll meet the first man and woman and their deceiver - the Serpent. We'll fly over God's new creation and meet a man named Noah, who God saved from His judgment - the Flood. We'll also take a look at "beginnings," the first time things are mentioned in the Bible a special significance should be given to them. The word Genesis itself is a Greek word that means "origin," the book describes the origins of creation.
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7/18/2007
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Destination: Genesis 12-50
Genesis 12-50
Skip Heitzig
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This week's flight is going to take us over the second section of Genesis, which is biographical in nature and focuses on the lives of four key people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We'll travel through the time era known as the Age of the Patriarchs. If you look at your window, we'll be passing over Canaan and Egypt, Canaan is modern day Israel.
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7/25/2007
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Destination: Exodus 1-18
Exodus 1-18
Skip Heitzig
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In our third tour, we'll be visiting the book of Exodus chapters 1-18. We'll get an overview of the central historical event contained in the book, the redemption of God's people from the bondage of Egypt. The setting for our journey is the nation of Egypt and Israel's wanderings through the wilderness. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12 and 14.
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8/1/2007
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Destination: Exodus 19-40
Exodus 19-40
Skip Heitzig
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In our fourth tour, we'll again visit the book of Exodus, visiting chapters 19-40. The setting for this week's journey is the Sinai Peninsula where God reveals the Ten Commandments to the nation of Israel and gives specific instructions on how He is to be worshiped. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 20, 25, 26, 27, 29 and 32.
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8/8/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 1-17
Leviticus 1-17
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifth flight from 30,000 Feet, we fly over the first seventeen chapters of the book of Leviticus. This is a book on worship and describes the worship life of the nation of Israel. In this first tour of Leviticus, we'll see how the first part of the book focuses on the way to God through sacrifice and lays down the law - literally - on how man was designed to live and how man can be atoned for his sins. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus: 1-5, 10, 16, 17.
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8/15/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 18-27
Leviticus 18-27
Skip Heitzig
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This week's study will take us through Leviticus chapters 18-27. The theme of Leviticus could be summed up in one word - holiness. The second section of Leviticus focuses on our walk with God through sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which we become holy or set apart for God's purposes. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus 18-20, 22, 23, and 25.
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8/22/2007
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Destination: Numbers 1-14
Numbers 1-14
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Our seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through Numbers chapters 1-14. Numbers is the fourth of the Pentateuch. In the Hebrew it is called ba-midbar, "in the wilderness." In the Septuagint version it is called Arithmoi or "numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26). The key chapters to review in advance are: Numbers 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 & 14.
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8/29/2007
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Destination: Numbers 15-36
Numbers 15-36
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give us a tour of Numbers chapters 15-36. We'll see that the second section of Numbers covers the failure of one generation to enter the Promised Land and the reorganization of a new generation that enters into the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 27.
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9/5/2007
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Destination: Deuteronomy 1-34
Deuteronomy 1-34
Skip Heitzig
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In our ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us on a tour through the entire book of Deuteronomy. The Hebrews called it "Elleh Haddevarim," "These are the Words," or "Devarim," (words). Deuteronomy can be organized around three messages given by Moses while the Israelites were on the plains east of the Jordan River. It occurs after the 40 years of wandering and the Israelites are now ready to enter the Promised Land. The key word of this book is covenant and speaks of the special relationship that God has established with His people. Key chapters for this flight are: 6, 7, 31, 32, 33 and 34.
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9/12/2007
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Destination: Joshua 1-12
Joshua 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Pastor Skip Heitzig will be our tour guide during our tenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week's journey will take us through Joshua 1-12. We'll get to know Joshua, son of Nun, who shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites. The book of Joshua describes Israel's conquest of Canaan and the first section describe how Joshua conquered the land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10.
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9/26/2007
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Destination: Joshua 13-24
Joshua 13-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eleventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the Promised Land. We will see how Joshua divides the land "as an inheritance to Israel," and we'll see different tribes and where they settle, both in and out of the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 13 and 20-24.
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10/3/2007
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Destination: Judges 1-10
Judges 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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In our twelfth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will once again be our tour guide as we take our first look at the book of Judges. We'll see on this tour how the nation of Israel is caught in the cycle of sin and how each cycle results in ever worsening conditions for them. We'll meet some of the characters that God divinely appointed to the office of Judge. The key chapters to review for this flight are Judges 1–3 and 6–8.
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10/10/2007
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Destination: Judges 11-21
Judges 11-21
Skip Heitzig
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Flight thirteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over Judges chapters 11-21. Pastor Skip Heitzig will guide us as we complete this overview of Judges. We will see that the second part of Judges shows the fragile nature of these Judges and a people who, "did what was right in their own eyes," that kept them in their sin cycle.
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11/7/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 1-15
1 Samuel 1-15
Skip Heitzig
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The fifteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on journey through 1 Samuel chapters 1-15. Join our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig for this exciting tour on which we'll meet a man who would be become King. This man's good looks, physical size and success in war made him an obvious choice from a human perspective, but the book of 1 Samuel highlights his tragic flaw - he disobeyed God's commands. From the ashes of Saul's tragedy God raises up another man who would become King, a man after His own heart, King David. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 8-10 and 15.
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11/14/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 16-31
1 Samuel 16-31
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will complete our tour of the book of 1 Samuel, covering chapters 16-31. On this flight we'll meet the man who God calls, "a man after my own heart (Acts 13:22)," David son of Jesse. We'll see David as a young shepherd boy who defeats Goliath and rises to national prominence overnight. His instant popularity arouses the jealousy of King Saul and forces David into hiding.
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11/21/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 1-10
2 Samuel 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Flight Seventeen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over 2 Samuel chapters 1-10. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will show us David's triumphs as King over Israel, after the death of Saul. Join us as we see how David's faith in God leads him to be victorious politically and militarily as one by one he defeats his enemies. We will also see how David's obedience leads to a new promise from God. The key chapters to review for this flight are 1-3, 5, 7 and 9.
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12/5/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 11-24
2 Samuel 11-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us to our next destination, 2 Samuel 11-24. On this flight we'll see David's transgressions and the troubles that resulted from them. By presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of David, we see a complete picture of a very real person who was described as being "a man after God's own heart." The key chapters to review are 2 Samuel 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 23, and 24.
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1/9/2008
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Destination: 1 Kings 1-22
1 Kings 1-22
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight nineteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over 1 Kings 1-22. On this flight we will see the transition that Israel undertakes as it moves from the rule of King David to the rule of his son King Solomon after his death. After Solomon turns from the Lord, we will see how Israel is divided and moved in and out of the power of many kings such as Ahab, Jehoshaphat, and Ahaziah. These chapters will reveal a story of true loyalty and disobedience to God. The key chapters to review are 1 Kings 1-3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 18, and 19.
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1/16/2008
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Destination: 2 Kings 1-25
2 Kings 1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of 2 Kings. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will continue to lead us through the history of the divided nation of Israel, and how in spite of the many kings who took control of the land, we will still see a nation without true leadership. As we soar over this book, we will see first how Israel comes into captivity by Assyria, and then the triumph of Babylon over Judah. The key chapters to review are 2 Kings 1-4, and 18-21.
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1/23/2008
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Destination: 1 Chronicles 1-29
1 Chronicles 1-29
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of 1 Chronicles. On this flight we look back once again at God's promise that He would establish His reign on earth through King David. Chapters 1-9 of 1 Chronicles will look in-depth at the the royal line of David and then we will see again the reign of David in chapters 10-29. Join us as we fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet and see how God fulfilled His promises to David and how that presents a witness of His faithfulness to us as well. The key chapters to review are 1 Chronicles 17-18, 21-22, 25, and 28-29
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1/30/2008
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Destination: 2 Chronicles 1-36
2 Chronicles 1-36
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-second departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us soaring over the entire book of 2 Chronicles to see the beginning of the reign of King Solomon all the way to the spiritual roller coaster after Solomon's death and the separation of the kingdoms. From the building of the temple (2 Chronicles 1-9), to the decline of the temple (2 Chronicles 10-36:16), to the destruction of the temple (2 Chronicles 36:17-23), we see a parallel to 1 and 2 Kings from a spiritual viewpoint. The key chapters to review are 2 Chronicles 17-20, and 29-32.
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2/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezra 1-10
Ezra 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Ezra. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will point out two very important sections of this book; the restoration of the temple (chapters 1-6), and the reformation of the people (chapters 7-10). This book will continue the narrative of 2 Chronicles by showing God's faithfulness to keep His promises by returning His people to their homeland. The key chapters to review are Ezra 1-10.
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2/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Nehemiah 1-13
Nehemiah 1-13
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-fourth departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the entire book of Nehemiah with our pilot, Pastor Skip Heitzig. In this book, Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, is given permission to lead third and final return to Jerusalem to repair and rebuild the city's walls. This book will show us a political construction (chapters 1-7), and a spiritual instruction (chapters 8-13). Join us as we see how Nehemiah gathers his spiritual strength from God during a time of great opposition.
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2/27/2008
completed
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Destination: Esther 1-10
Esther 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-five over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of Esther. The flight will be divided into two highly important sections: the threat to the Jews (chapters 1-4), in which we will see Haman's attempt to completely eradicate the Jewish people from Persia, and the triumph of the Jews (chapters 5-10), where we will see a young girl's godly strength and fight to save her people. This flight will show us a whole new set of villains, heroes, and ultimately the ever abounding faithfulness of God towards those who follow Him. The key chapters to review are Esther 1-10.
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3/5/2008
completed
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Destination: Job 1-42
Job 1-42
Skip Heitzig
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Our twenty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us over the entire book of Job, the first book in the section of poetical books. This is a powerful story of a man who has everything taken from him; his health, wealth, and even his beloved family. Yet as we see God allowing Satan to test Job, God's faithfulness to those he loves is clear and Job's steadfast faith prevails. Join us this week as we see Job's dilemma (ch.1-2), the debate with his four friends (ch. 3-37), and his final deliverance (ch. 38-42). The key chapters to review are Job1-4, 8,11-12, and 29.
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3/12/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 1-72
Psalms 1-72
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Psalms 1-72. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us through the first seventy-two chapters of Psalms, which is divided into five books of songs, prayers, and poetry. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 1, 14, 23, 40, and 63.
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3/19/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 73-150
Psalms 73-150
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-eighth departure of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the last three books in Psalms as we read through chapters 73-150. We will see beautiful writings of gladness and grief, pleading and prayers, and reverence and worship. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 119, and 146-150.
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3/26/2008
completed
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Destination: Proverbs 1-31
Proverbs 1-31
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty-nine over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Proverbs. Known for the wisdom it contains, Proverbs reveals to us how to deal with every day situations; be it love and lust, life and death, friends and enemies, and what our God loves and hates. On this flight, Pastor Skip will point out some of the most noted chapters and verses of one of the most read books of the Old Testament. The key chapters to review are Proverbs 1-2, 5, 14, 22, and 31.
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4/23/2008
completed
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Destination: Ecclesiastes 1-12
Ecclesiastes 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Join us as we continue The Bible From 30,000 Feet, taking our thirtieth flight high above the book of Ecclesiastes. This book reveals some startling truths about how King Solomon felt about finding meaning and fulfillment in life through the things of this world, and ultimately his conclusion that "all is vanity" in a life lived without God. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 5, 8, and 12.
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4/30/2008
completed
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Destination: Song of Solomon 1-8
Song_of_Solomon 1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Song of Solomon. This poetic book gives us a glimpse into the true love that Solomon has for a shepherdess, and the love and fulfillment they share in a marriage relationship. At an altitude of 30,000 feet we will be able to see the strong tie into the fulfillment and joy seen in the love of God for His people. The key chapters to review are Song of Solomon 1-8.
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5/7/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 1-39
Isaiah 1-39
Skip Heitzig
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Our thirty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us soaring over the entire book of Isaiah. Thought to be the greatest of all the Prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah's ministry lasted around fifty years, and his prophecies are quoted in the New Testament more often than any other Prophet. This book shows us a mix of both prophecies of condemnation (chapters 1-39), as well as prophecies of comfort (chapters 40-66). The key chapters to review are Isaiah 1-2, 6, 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/14/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 40-66
Isaiah 40-66
Skip Heitzig
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In our thirty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the second half of Isaiah. As we look through chapters 40-66, we will see the continued work of Isaiah, and how God used his gift of prophecy, both comforting and condemning, to generate change in the individuals he encountered. The key chapters to review are Isaiah 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/21/2008
completed
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Destination: Jeremiah 1-52
Jeremiah 1-52
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-four over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the entire book of Jeremiah. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us at an altitude of 30,000 feet to see the three writings of the book of Jeremiah. From the warning of judgment, to the promise of restoration, and finally the protective hand of God over those He loves, we will catch a glimpse of a man who openly allowed God to speak through him in unusual and sometimes bizarre ways to open the eyes of the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Jeremiah 13, 18-20, 25, 31, and 52.
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6/11/2008
completed
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Destination: Lamentations 1-5
Lamentations 1-5
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-five over the Bible From 30,000 Feet. On this departure, we will look once again at Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations. We will learn why Jeremiah is referred to as "the weeping prophet," as we see him lament over the destruction of Jerusalem. This poetic book begins by revealing a man who is distressed for a nation under the consequences of its own sin, and ends with a prayer for the restoration of the nation from captivity. The key chapters to review are Lamentations 1-5.
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6/18/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezekiel 1-48
Ezekiel 1-48
Skip Heitzig
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In our thirty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the book of Ezekiel. We will witness prophecies we've seen in past books being fulfilled as we see Jerusalem at the time of the Second Babylonian Deportation. As Ezekiel the Priest is deported alongside his people, we see God continue to offer promises of restoration through him, bringing the people a sense of hope in spite of their current tribulations. The key chapters to review are Ezekiel 1-3, 7, 33-34, and 38-39.
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6/25/2008
completed
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Destination: Daniel 1-6
Daniel 1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Flight thirty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on a tour of Daniel 1-6. In these chapters, we will see the first of the deportations of the Israelites to Babylon, and witness both the prophetic history of the book, as well as the four prophetic visions of Daniel. Ultimately, the powerful stories in Daniel reveal a man of God; unwilling to compromise and full of faith. The key chapters to review are Daniel 1-2.
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7/2/2008
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Destination: Daniel 7-12
Daniel 7-12
Skip Heitzig
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Our thirty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through the second part of Daniel. As we look at chapters 7-12, we will see the four prophetic visions of Daniel, and observe how his faith in God's fulfillment of prophecies led him to fervent prayer for the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Daniel 9-12.
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7/9/2008
completed
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Destination: Hosea 1-14
Hosea 1-14
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our thirty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the entire book of Hosea, a man called to prophesy to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam. As Hosea addresses the sins of the nation, we will see how God used the graphic parallel between his adulterous wife and the unfaithfulness of Israel. The key chapters to review are Hosea 1-4, 6, 9, and 11.
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7/16/2008
completed
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Destination: Joel; Amos; Obadiah
Joel 1-3; Amos 1-9; Obadiah
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for flight forty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us soaring over Joel, Amos, and Obadiah. In these three books, we take a look at the strong warnings that God gives His people against greed, injustice, false worship, and self-righteousness. We'll see God's use of these ordinary men to give extraordinary messages; we'll witness His patience, and at the end, we'll see how He stands ready to forgive and restore all who turn away from their sin. The key chapters to review are Joel 1-3, Amos 1, 3 and 7, and Obadiah 1.
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7/23/2008
completed
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Destination: Jonah 1-4
Jonah 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Our forty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us to the well known book of Jonah. In this book, we will see what God can do in the life of a prophet, even one who is blatantly disobedient. Despite Jonah's defiance, God strongly redirects his path and brings him to repentance through a very unique situation. By the end of the book, we will see Jonah right back where he started and bringing God glory by doing exactly what He had originally asked of him. The key chapters to review are Jonah 1-4.
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8/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk
Micah; Nahum; Habakkuk
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our forty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, three prophets used by God to criticize, comfort, and encourage the people of Judah. Through these prophets, God's people confess their sins and are confident in the salvation of God's mighty acts. The key chapters to review are Micah 1-7, Nahum 1-3, and Habakkuk 1-3.
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8/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Zephaniah & Haggai
Zephaniah; Haggai
Skip Heitzig
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Prepare yourself for our forty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This flight will take us soaring over the entirety of both Zephaniah and Haggai. The two books cover five chapters which speak of the coming Day of the Lord, His wrath upon Judah and her neighbors, and an encouragement after their return from exile to rejoice and rebuild the Temple. The key chapters to review are Zephaniah 1-3 and Haggai 1-2.
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8/20/2008
completed
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Destination: Zechariah and Malachi
Zechariah; Malachi
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-forth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, journeying over the final two books of the Old Testament. In ending the Minor Prophets, we'll first look at the expanded message of rebuilding the temple as Zechariah encourages the people to look to the future reign of the Messiah. We will then speed forward 100 years after the temple was rebuilt to the book of Malachi, where God's chosen people had once again slid back into their sinful practices. After 400 years of prophetic silence, Malachi brings a message of exhortation to the people who had resettled in Jerusalem. The key chapters to review are Zechariah 9-14 and Malachi 1-4.
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9/3/2008
completed
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Destination: Matthew, Mark, and Luke
Matthew, Mark; Luke
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our opening tour of the New Testament and flight forty-five of the Bible from 30,000 Feet! This flight will take us on a sky-high tour over the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three synoptic gospels give us our first glimpses of Jesus' life and death here on earth. We'll see the service, sermons, sacrifices, and sovereignty of our King as we witness the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament prophecies we have previously studied. The key chapters to review are Matthew 1-5 and 17, Mark, and Luke.
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9/10/2008
completed
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Destination: John
John
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of John, written by the Apostle John from Ephesus between A.D. 80-90. The spiritual depth of this book and its presentation of the incarnation through the God-man Jesus Christ sets it apart from the other gospels.
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9/17/2008
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Destination: Acts
Acts
Skip Heitzig
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On our forty-seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give a tour of the entire book of Acts. Acts is the history of how Christianity was founded and organized and solved its problems. The gospel writer Luke tells the story of how the community of believers began by faith in the risen Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the promised Counselor and Guide, who enabled them to witness, to love, and to serve.
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9/24/2008
completed
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Destination: Romans
Romans
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Join us as we soar over the entire book of Romans, Paul's letter to the church in Rome. This letter primarily focuses on the basic gospel message along with God's plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike. In our broad overview, we'll take a look at Paul's strong emphasis of Christian doctrine and his concern for Israel. The key chapters to review are 1, 3, 4, and 9-11.
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10/8/2008
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Destination: 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! As we look at 1 Corinthians, we'll see Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. His letters to the influential church confront their "religious" and arrogant mindsets and defend his ability to be an apostle of Christ. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the turnaround and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 1 Corinthians 2-3 & 12-13.
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10/15/2008
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Destination: 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
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Our fiftieth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us on a flight over the second of Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. Between 1 & 2 Corinthians, the congregation was influenced by false teachers who spread opposition to Paul. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the repentance of the people to God and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 2 Corinthians 4 & 12.
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10/22/2008
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Destination: Galatians
Galatians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of Galatians, a clear letter to the church in Galatia about the importance of remembering grace through faith and not the law. Paul's forceful letter addresses issues of legalism in the church and the false gospel of works. The key chapters to review are Galatians 1-6.
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11/5/2008
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Destination: Ephesians
Ephesians
Skip Heitzig
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Who are we in Christ? Grab your travel planner for flight fifty-two as we look at the book of Ephesians, Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. In this book, Paul explains how we are the bride of Christ, a temple, and a soldier for the gospel. The unity that Paul emphasizes is described as a body working together for a common goal. The key chapters to review are Ephesians 1-6.
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11/19/2008
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Destination: Philippians
Philippians
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us through the book of Philippians, another of Paul's letters to the church. Referred to as "the epistle of joy," the message contained in these pages is one of long suffering and joy in the midst of Paul's time in prison. Despite his trials, we will see Paul rejoice over the church in Philippi and encourage them in unity, humility, and prayer. The key chapters to review are Philippians 1-4.
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1/7/2009
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Destination: Colossians
Colossians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-fourth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! On this flight, we will take a look at the young church in Colosse, and how they became the target of a heretical attack. The main theme in the book of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy. The key chapters to review are Colossians 1-4.
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1/14/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 1-5;2 Thessalonians 1-3:18
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-fifth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Both books are written as an encouragement to the church in Thessalonica, exhorting them in the word, warning them against pagan immorality, and urging them to remain steadfast in the truth of the Lord. The key chapters to review are 1 Thessalonians 1-5 and 2 Thessalonians 1-3.
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1/21/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Timothy
1 Timothy 1-6;2 Timothy 1-4:22
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Join us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Timothy as we take our fifty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. These loving letters to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus, reveal Paul's true love for his brother in Christ and desire to encourage him in the Word and warn against false teachings. In these letters, Paul exhorts Timothy to stand strong and "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). The key chapters to review are 1 Timothy 1-6 and 2 Timothy 1-4.
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1/28/2009
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Destination: Titus and Philemon
Titus 1-3:15;Philemon 1:1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight fifty-seven of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the books of Titus and Philemon. While the letter to Titus focuses on the importance of sound doctrine and the elements of the church order, Philemon takes a more personal approach and speaks on the application of the great principles of Christian brotherhood to social life. The key chapters to review are Titus 1-3 and Philemon 1.
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2/4/2009
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Destination: Hebrews
Hebrews
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the book of Hebrews. Although the author of the book is not fully known, this well written letter reveals a man with a great desire to encourage Jewish believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ, instead of trying to escape persecution by bowing to the rites and rituals of Judaism. The key chapters to review are Hebrews 1-2, 6, 11, and 13.
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2/11/2009
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Destination: James
James
Skip Heitzig
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Our fifty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the distinctive book of James. Although grace through faith in the cross was vital for Jewish believer to understand, James addresses the issue of faith without a consistent lifestyle. This epistle adamantly declares that, "Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also." (James 2:26) The key chapters to review are James 1-5.
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2/18/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Peter
1 Peter 1-5; 2 Peter 1-3
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us on a tour of the books of 1 & 2 Peter. Peter's first letter to the church exhorts Christians to remain steadfast in their faith when under persecution, and his second letter tackles the issue of false teachers and a need for discernment against the spreading apostasy. Both books contain a level of warmth in Peter's expressions, making them a great source of encouragement. The key chapters to review are 1 Peter 1-5 and 2 Peter 1-3.
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2/25/2009
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Destination: 1 John
1 John
Skip Heitzig
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In our sixty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the book of 1 John. John writes to define and defend the nature of the person of Christ against heretical teachings affecting the early church. As John addresses the heretical teachings of the time, he also addresses the preeminence of God's love for us, and our duty to love others in return. The key chapters to review are 1 John 1-5.
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3/25/2009
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Destination: 2, 3 John and Jude
2 John, 3 John; Jude
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-two over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will give a sky high view over three small but concise books, 2 & 3 John and Jude. While all three books have a different primary focus, all are written with the purpose to encourage the church to keep a strong biblical foundation. This study will take us through the importance of biblical discernment, the need to be in fellowship with other believers, as well as the vital need to keep strong in the faith. The key chapters to review are 2 & 3 John, and Jude.
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4/1/2009
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Destination: Revelation 1-11
Revelation 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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With only two more flights to go, we welcome you to get your travel planner ready for the first half of the book of Revelation and flight sixty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Considered to be one of the most powerful books in Scripture, Revelation is a direct vision from God, to John, which he was asked to record for future generations. Revelation 1:19, "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later." As the final warning to the world of the tribulation to come, it also serves as a source of hope for the Church. The key chapters to review are 1-4, 7, and 11.
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4/8/2009
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Destination: Revelation 12-22
Revelation 12-22
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-four brings us to the end of the scriptures and the second and final part of the book of Revelation. Chapters 12-22 lead us into some of the most thrilling text in the entire Bible, giving us a glimpse into the seven bowl judgments, the Beast, and the future tribulation, but also bringing us great hope for God's Church. The key chapters to review are Revelation 12-14, 18, and 20-22.
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4/15/2009
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Bible from 30k Final Q&A
Skip Heitzig
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We have landed our flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. As we touch down and head to pick up the final baggage from our 65 flight series, our last sky-high view of the scriptures will includes this final Q&A Celebration. Pastor Skip and others answer questions from the last year, as well as on the spot questions from the audience.
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There are 64 additional messages in this series.