Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Testament Tuesday: Ruth

So far, reading through “A Lineage of Grace” has been a reminder of the daily renewal of God’s mercies and the strength of believing in His promise. The fact that Ruth, along with Tamar, Rahab, Mary, and Bathsheba were chosen to be in the lineage of Jesus. What extraordinary women!
Ruth has a book in the Bible dedicated all to her story. Because of this, I was intrigued as to what her story entailed. When I was younger, I thought, “Oh cool, a women has a book in the Bible…” Now I think about what her story has to teach me because it is a powerful one.
Here’s a synopsis, but you can find her entire story in the book of Ruth and of course in Francine Rivers “A Lineage of Grace”…
Ruth was a Moabite women.  She married one of Elimelek and Naomi’s sons. Another women named Orpah ( not Oprah!)  married the other son. Long story short, Elimelek died as well as both of his sons leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah as widows. Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem and told her two daughter in laws to go back to their mother’s homes. Orpah went but Ruth wanted to stay. The NIV version of the Bible said she “clung” to Naomi. She also told her, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16b). So they went together to Bethlehem, just as the barley harvest was beginning.
Now Noami and Ruth needed to provide for themselves. Ruth went to the fields to pick up leftover grain if anyone allowed her. She comes across the field that belonged to Boaz who happen to be a relative from the clan of Elimelek. He was impressed with Ruth and what she did for Naomi, found her a women of noble character, and  allowed her to pick up extra grain.
Naomi wanted to find a home for Ruth where she would be well taken care of. Ruth was sent to Boaz after he had eaten and drank and was in good spirits.  Ruth needed to convince Boaz was a guardian-redeemer in the family, so he is obligated to redeem a relative in a difficult trial. Through this, Boaz was able to buy some land Elimelek had and gain Ruth as a wife in order to maintain the land. Through their marriage,  Ruth bore children which became Naomi’s sons.
Yes there is a lot going on, but what a story? Ruth chose not to go back to her mother’s homes and follow Naomi and her God. She served Naomi in such a way where if I were in her shoes, I don’t know if I would be able do it. Ruth even bore children for Naomi so she would have sons! She went from being a widow to being provided for and serving our Lord. Talk about life changing.

What life-changing events have you experienced? Who helped you through these events?
Getting married, having a baby, moving across the country are all experiences that have been life changing. I probably have overused this in a lot of discussions but having my son tops it all when it comes to life changing. Of course becoming a momma changes you but what we went through as far as my son being in the NICU for the month and being born early, and the state of my health before giving birth to him was an experience that strengthened my relationship with the Lord. As I mentioned in my birth story, if it weren’t for Jesus, my husband, and sisters in Christ help, it would have been a totally different experience.

Do you identify with Ruth or Naomi? How? Why?
I feel like I identify with both women. I can relate to Ruth in needing something to cling onto during difficult situations. Like God’s word or a friend’s encouragement. Now, Ruth’s obedience is something to be admired and something I need to work on. She is a great example of obedience. I also can relate to Naomi in wanting to take care of things and making sure my family is taken care of. She made sure that Ruth would be provided for and the Lord greatly rewarded her for her efforts.

From whom do you draw support and wise counsel?
As I have mentioned, I draw my wise counsel from God’s word. His word has answers and encouragement all wrapped up into a love letter written for me. Love you too, Lord! (Anyone get that Beth Moore reference?) I also draw toward the important relationships in my life. My husband, friends, family. When I can’t think clearly, God is my clarity. When I I am being irrational, my blunt and to the point hubby gets me on track. When I am going insane a short vent session and some perspective from Kacie always helps. Praise God and the people he puts in my life.

I love Ruth’s story. Every time I have read it, I have found something new that the Lord is teaching me.

What is the Lord teaching you through Ruth?
Are you a Ruth or Naomi? Both?


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