PURPOSE Andy Hollifield 3-26-19
Ruth 2:16 “And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.” (KJV)
The word purpose is in the bible 36 times. Interestingly enough, do you know what words aren’t in the bible? Accident, luck, coincidence, fluke, and karma just to name a few. The interesting thing about the word purpose is that the first time it is used is in Ruth 2:16 when Boaz tells his gleaners to “let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.” Let fall and leave them. That sure sounds like he had a purpose to me doesn’t it to you? Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Romans 8:28 tells us in short that every thing that God does or allows to happen in our lives is for our good according to his purpose. Isn’t it good to know that regardless of what may come or go or happen in our lives, God is working it for our benefit and according to the purpose that he has for our lives? 2 Timothy 2:9 even says that God saved us and called “…according to his own purpose and grace.” The whole purpose of Christ coming to sacrifice his life on the cross for our sins was “that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Nothing actually happens by chance. Psalms 37:23 takes it a little further when the psalmist said “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” One definition of ordered is something that is done according to specific procedures and principles obviously for the purpose of a specific result. I am glad that God doesn’t leave our life to chance.
Speaking of chance, it is used six times in the bible. It is defined as the absence of any cause of events that can be predicted, controlled, or understood. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says in the last phrase of the verse that “time and chance happeneth to them all.” It isn’t talking about luck but rather is used meaning an opportunity. We have already seen in 3:1 that there is a time to every purpose. In Ephesians 3:20 Paul speaks of God being able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Just because we can’t imagine something or figure out how or why it happened don’t mean it was just coincidence. It means that our thoughts can’t go that high. There are actually five different words that translate into the english word “chance.”
As I mentioned earlier, the word chance can also be defined as opportunity. That word is used five times in the scriptures. It’s kind of interesting that “chance” is used six times in the bible and six is the number of man. Purpose is used 36 times which is six times the number of man. But when all is said and done, “opportunity”is used five times and that is the number of grace in the bible. You can make what you want to out of it but consider this; it was God’s grace that gave us the opportunity to be saved. I mentioned that “purpose” is used 36 times. The scriptures tell us some amazing things about the purposes of God. According to things I read, there are 36 visions of John recorded in the book of Revelation. Also, there are three series of twelve cups for the dedication of the altar. There were 36 years between the crucifixion of Christ and the death of Paul. The bible contains 66 books written by 36 different authors. The word “beast” is used 36 times in Revelation. “Satan” is used 36 times in the New Testament.
Finally, did you know that the year of the crucifixion was supposedly 30 AD. When you take that number plus the number of man which is six, you wind up with 36 which is the number of times purpose is used in the bible. Also, in bible times, the price of a slave was 30 pieces of silver which was the same amount that Judas received to betray Jesus. When you add the number of man (6) to the price Jesus was sold for you come up with 36. Also, Jesus began his public ministry at age 30 for all mankind (6). I hadn’t planned on getting into all of that but I found it interesting that even in the study of the word “purpose” there appears to have been a purpose of the Lord to use it like he did. You may think all of these things are just coincidence. Think what you want; I think it is all according to his “purpose.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!