Day 97

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Ruth 1:1- 4:12

Travis Groat, Technical Arts Director

This section of scripture intrigues me greatly. It starts with the history of Naomi’s life that quickly turns bitter. Naomi seems convinced that it is God’s fault that her life is going this way. I have had a similar conversation with different people from time to time. While I cannot completely explain why bad things happen, I do find it interesting that we quickly blame God for this occurrence. Why wouldn’t we blame the effects of sin on humanity? Because that would make it our fault; it is much better to blame God. Moving on from my soapbox, the next thing we find is that Naomi makes the decision to travel back to the place that her family had moved from. I have to stop and explain something from the culture of the time period we are reading about before we move on to the rest of the story. In this time period when a son got married he built a room onto his parents’ house that he and his wife lived in. So the daughters staying with their mother-in-law in this time period after a son died is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, if there were more sons in the family that were not married they were required to marry the deceased brother’s wife. So all of that precedes this verse in which Naomi goes against social convention of the day.

This is Ruth’s reply: “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”  When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

Wow what a declaration! But the story does not end here. She not only stayed with Naomi, but she also worked the fields to provide food. Through her faithfulness and established reputation she becomes the wife of Boaz. Here is another interesting fact: her descendants included King David and then eventually Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of the world.

Boaz was the father of Obed.
 Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. (Ruth 4:21b-22)

This story almost seems unimportant, but the entire story talks about the kinsmen redeemer. Ruth’s undying devotion and steadfast character is so astounding it is brought to our attention and recorded for all history in the most important book ever. This passage screams some profound simple truths. Pay attention to the little things. Be there for family even if the family is through marriage. Be courageous in your character and be unwavering in your character.
You will never know what God will do in the future if you are not unwavering in your character today.

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6 responses »

  1. Awesome insight Travis, it’s hard not to love Ruth, with her unwavering devotion & character.
    Ruth is one of the great historical books of the Old Testament, covering Kinsman & redeemer.

    Here is a link to the Nichole Nordman – Amy Grant song “I’m with you” about Ruth and Naomi

    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=K7WPPLNX

    • Great song pick, Ray. For a moment I thought you might have chosen this old Hymn (even though its roots are from Psalm 126)
      “Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
      Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
      Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
      We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
      Refrain:
      Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
      We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;
      Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
      We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
      Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
      Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
      By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
      We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
      Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
      Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
      When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
      We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.”

  2. Our choices really matter. In Judges 19-21, a perfectly ordinary situation — visiting a town overnight — turned into wholesale death and destruction because of a series of very bad choices. In Ruth, a rather dicey situation — a dolled-up single woman spending the night at a threshing floor — turned into blessing and joy because of a series of godly choices. God has granted us amazing (and frightening) influence in the world.

  3. “God hasn’t quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!”
    – Ruth 2:20

    Naomi mutters these words after Ruth returns with a glowing report about her day in Boaz’s fields. Naomi came home to Bethlehem a bitter woman – after life’s circumstances dealt her a difficult blow …but she becomes a BETTER woman after seeing God work through these circumstances to deliver a blessing. This reminds me of the time when I flew out of Seattle in pouring rain, and suddenly burst out of the cloud cover into bright sunshine! The sun was there all along…but the clouds hid it from view. Our perspective about God can be similar when we only focus on our cloudy circumstances. He really IS there all the time…waiting for His time to shine.

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