Wednesday, March 28, 2012

reflections on the Book of Ruth

I was listening to a message on the book of Ruth.  It was interesting to get some of the points out of it that I had not gotten before...maybe it was because of the way the speaker spoke or the things that brought them to focus.  

What is the bigger picture of the details in our life?  We live in the details, data and happenings of our life.  Do get the meaning?  There is a pattern and meaning.  You have to look at the context.  Every detail and every choice of every day is being woven into the work of the story of your life.  The book of Ruth shows that in its short story.

Naomi didn't want to be called by her name because she felt the Lord had inflicted her and brought misfortune on her.  These circumstances made her very bitter.  She felt God was punishing her.  She wanted to be called Mara instead.  I find it interesting that she was complaining to the the Lord in her heart, attitude and words; instead of being grateful that she had family to go back to.

Ruth was an outsider to Naomi's relatives and family.  She showed faithfulness to her Mother In Law.  She was bold in her message of wanting God to be her God, she doesn't care about the stigma of going back to Israel.  Boaz instructed her to glean of his fields, not others.  He instructed the men to not lay hands on her.  He was impressed by what she did for her Mother In Law and wanted her to be blessed of the Lord.  Boaz was known to be hardworking, generous and protective, an older guy, not thinking he was very attractive, but he built a reputation of doing what is right.  Naomi was impressed at Boaz's care shown to Ruth and gave instructions to Ruth to dress up and go and lay at Boaz's feet when he was sleeping.  Ruth had been wearing plain clothes, no perfume and oils because she had been in morning over the loss of her husband and Naomi wanted her to not go to Boaz in that type of attire.  Ruth fights customs and shows that she wants someone to protect her.  Boaz knew the chain of command and knew that someone else was ahead of him in the family line.

When you think about these events, what would have happened if Ruth had not gone with her Mother In Law?  Ruth made choices.  God worked his story in the "random" details of their choices.  Those small decisions were how God worked out the big story.  His story of Redemption.  Do you look for the finger prints of God in your life, everyday? How is God working in my life?  How is he using the people in my life to build the bigger picture?  Let the Lord's word bring illumination to the details of my life.

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