Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday, April 8th: Ruth 1-4 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Ruth 1-4

Our unimpressive, ordinary lives make us feel like outsiders in the presence of a star-studded cast with names like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and others.  Often this feeling will prevent us from playing a part that God is calling us to participate in.  We conclude that we are somehow "not religious enough" or "unfit" to take part in this calling.

Welcome to the story of Ruth.  The widowed, impoverished, Ruth is proof of the contrary.  She is an outsider whose life turns out to be essential for telling the entire story of God's way among us.

A couple of verses that stood out to me were:

Ruth 1:16 - But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

God established His covenant with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, but His love is universal so that it could one day reach all the nations.  No one is outside of God's love (John 3:16).

Ruth 4:9 - Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon.

We have been called to be witnesses too, just not in a legal sense.   We are required to be a witness for God to others in proclaiming Jesus as being our Saviour, and telling others what He has done for us.  

Ruth 4:14 - The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 

This story revolves around the providence of God for He directed the events.  Naomi and Boaz both acknowledged the presence of the Lord in all that was happening.  This providence goes beyond this story, as the child Obed born to Ruth was an ancestor of Jesus Christ.  God is present in this story carrying forward His plan of redemption, providing the way to freedom from the guilt and power of sin to experience new life in Jesus. 
Ruth 4:17 reads, "The women living there said,'Naomi has a son!' And they named him Obed.  He was the father of Jesse, the father of David."

This "outsider" turns out to be the great-grandmother of David and the ancestor of Jesus.  This story provides an understanding of how our ordinary lives play an important role in telling God's entire story.  We all count, just as what we do or don't do counts.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Samuel 1-3


Nathan Reimer said...

It must have been very difficult and stressful for Naomi and Ruth to be on their own and travelling. They had both been through the hardship of losing their spouse and now had to look out for themselves. Their wasn't a government hand out to rely on. But they had faith along with determination, and God looked after them by providing for them, and even blessing them.

A good example for us to look at, when we have things go against us not to give up and quit, but to trust in God and pray, He will look after us one way or another.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I've always loved the story of Ruth and, in particular, that God chose her to be the great grandmother of King David and, more importantly, an ancestor of Jesus. I love the symbolism of Ruth, a pagan woman, being grafted into the family of Israel, just as we are.