Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful For....

I finished up my study on Ruth this past week. I think that is what I will focus on for what I am thankful for... I wish that I could have written to you everyday as I read it, it was so incredible, but time just doesn't allow for that.
Naomi has decided to go back to Israel, the covenant community and has urged Orpah and Ruth to stay with their people so they will be taken care of. Orpah decides to take her advice and misses out on a living relationship with God-the only thing that truly matters. But not Ruth, she says "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where 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. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you." So powerful. Ruth was trusting God to meet her as she laid down her life for Naomi!
Once they are back in Israel, they have to have food. So Ruth goes out to glean for them. This is very dangerous. She is a Moabite and a woman with noone to protect her. But Boaz takes notice of her and tells his workers to leave stuff behind for her to glean. Thank you Lord! She takes home a TON of food, about 80 lbs. And Boaz told her to stay in his fields so she would be protected.
Ruth goes home with all this food and Naomi starts to see God's kindness. Remember, she is very bitter and not very repentant for her past sins. She begans to realize that God is not out to get her and that He will provide her needs. She tells Ruth that Boaz is one of their redeemers. A kinsman who back then-would buy back relatives who fell into debt. Boaz did not have a legal obligation to them though, but He saw the bigger picture.
But this points us to an even greater redeemer, Our Redeemer! "Boaz was the means that God used in a small way to show Naomi his goodness. Her bitterness, which had hardened and deepened under what she saw as the lashes of God's judgement, at last began to melt when brought face to face with an undeniable experience of His goodness and grace. She began to recognize that, contrary to what she had earlier thought, the Lord had not stopped showing his covenant faithfulness to her and Ruth."
Mr Duguid goes on to explain that there was a clock ticking in the book of Ruth-the clock of redemption. Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem just in time for the barley harvest, then seven weeks later was Pentecost! These ladies are experiencing the first fruits of God's deliverance but not the fullness of it yet. "For us, too, a clock is ticking. We who have received the first fruits of our salvation await its fullness. Often, we are so preoccupied with the challenges of surviving from one day to the next that we are inclined to forget the clock's relentless beat. When we do think about it, our redemption seems slow in coming. Yet we ought not to forget that in God's perfect time, our present groaning will give away to shouts of joy(yeah!!), as we receive our full adoption as the sons and daughters of God. Quieting out hearts and focusing our attention on the reality and certainty of the inheritance that is stored up for us in heaven will feed our hope and encourage us to persevere patiently until the sands of God's time run out."
So I am so very grateful for my Redeemer! What a costly work He has done for us! This year has been filled with trials in our house yet we have seen our Redeemer's faithfulness. For He is good and worthy of our praise!! He is using all things for our good and His glory. We wouldn't want it any other way!

1 comment:

Shawnda said...

Did you like Mickey's sermon this morning after going through Ruth?! The whole service was so good this morning!!

I have always loved the book of Ruth, but after the CCEF conference, I'll never be able to look at it with the same eyes. My eyes are much more opened to the suffering in the book!

Thanks for sharing what you are learning!!!