The Gospel of Ruth - Ruth
We’re inviting you to read Ruth as a whole piece each week.
Curl up with the Good Book for some quality time with God this week. Listen to this tragic happily ever after story from a different perspective each week and see what new thing you hear from God. Make a new observation, connection, thanksgiving, WOW!, Ahaa! We’ll give you some of ours for a kick start. Turn those thoughts into a conversation with God and petitions for others. This week we’re listening for the perspective of Ruth. She enters the story as an outsider yet demonstrates unfailing love… faithfulness… loyalty… mercy… grace… kindness.
Godly Influence- Godly response: is my “a-hah" as I read Ruth’s impassioned commitment to her mother-in-law and to her mother-in-law’s God! The words are powerful and eloquent, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die , and there will I be buried."
That commitment was not a quick decision! It was a commitment of loyalty to Naomi, but most importantly a commitment of faith in God. That faith came as the result of Ruth’s life lived in a family that worshiped the true God, 10 years of marriage to a godly man who worshiped regularly and consistently made an impact. 10 years of living close to a brother-in-law’s household, and 10 years of living in a relationship with Naomi, a God fearing widow, bearing the burden of loss of husband and both sons didn’t go unnoticed! Their lives of faith and faithfulness, especially Naomi’s life of faith impacted Ruth and literally introduced her to faith in God.
It was Ruth’s response of faith that spoke those powerful words of commitment.
I pray to keep learning from the godly lives of those around me and respond in a clear ongoing commitment of faith.
Ruth was an outsider, but God took her in. She didn’t belong in so many ways. She had left it all – her dead husband, her people, the life she knew – to loyally follow a woman she loved to a new land. She had promised to adopt all she found there, the land, the people, and the God. What a surprise awaited her! She was the one who was adopted – taken in - by the land, the people and God. She was redeemed, embraced and given a new life.
We too were born into a state of being outsiders, but through our baptisms, God took us in and gave us a new life. He gave us a special people – a community of believers - as our family, and a helper – His Holy Spirit – to help us remain in our new life.
Ruth’s adoption was a miracle! So is ours!
Ruth's story illustrates what happens when you serve with humility, loyalty, and faithfulness. It demonstrates when you bless and care for others, you too are blessed and cared for. “You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full’, you find yourselves cared for” (Matthew 5:3-5 MSG). When you serve God and believe in your heart of hearts that He is your King, there is never any reason to fear because He goes before us to clear the path and where they are crooked, He makes them straight.
Brave Ruth… that’s who I see today reading her story all through. The commitment she faithfully makes to Naomi will take her into unknown territory, dangerous territory for a woman with no man by her side. She bravely states in Chapter 2 verse 2 that she will go and glean behind someone “in whose sight I will find favor”. That’s a gamble! – except for one fact, Ruth has already gambled on God. She has found favor there. God is the source of this new bravery. I can rely on God, too for the courage life requires of me when I’m brave enough to take on the burden of others.
Ruth 3:1-5 – I can hunker down into a rhythm of hard work and not come up for air, and be slowly ground down by the constant ongoing need. Naomi jostles Ruth out of mourning and hard work with directions to spiff up and look for a future. I’d have a thousand reasons to stay home, but Ruth takes another further step into her new community and follows Naomi’s directions. I’m reminded that God’s plan for us is for hope and a future, Jeremiah 29:11, not just survival. Remember that God is hopeful about your future, too!
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