Let them bless you…

Let them bless you…

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

{Luke 6:38 NKJV}

I love to have a nice, hot cup (or 2, or 3….) of coffee in the morning…afternoon…evening! I enjoy coffee. I didn’t start drinking it until I was in my 30’s, and have enjoyed it ever since. Now don’t get the idea that I’m addicted! I can go without it for days and not blink an eye.

Continue reading “Let them bless you…”

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Me first? Nope…

Me first? Nope…

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. {Galatians 6:8 KJV}

The world is so backwards…

Continue reading “Me first? Nope…”

Newton’s Third Law

Newton’s Third Law

My fellowship friend and I were having a discussion about  Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (NKJV). As usual, I was making it more difficult than it needed to be.

The concept of these verses is very simple: Do this…get that!

If I put my hand in a flame, I will get burned. If I hear a puppy bark, I will smile :)… Continue reading “Newton’s Third Law”

And To Sum It Up…

And To Sum It Up…

The last chapter of Ruth can be seen as a summary of the way she lived her life in very few words.

Boaz wasted no time in settling the matter of being Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer. I see that he did this not only because it was part of his character, but also because he saw who she was (that’s not very good phrasing, so I hope you understand what I’m trying to say in just a few words).

He did not have to take her as his wife. He could have passed on the responsibility to the next closest relative after him, just as the one before him did (4:6-8). But he proclaimed, at the public gate, that he would take her as his wife. The elders of the city gave their blessing (because they knew her character and reputation also?) and said that they hoped his house would be as prosperous as that of Jacob (although they referred to Rachel and Leah presumably because they were the ones who bore him his sons).

After Ruth bore him his first son, the women of the city made a very bold proclamation concerning her. First they acknowledged what it seemed everyone knew…that Ruth loved Naomi. But then they said something that was very uncommon in that culture/time. Ruth was better than seven sons! Wow! That statement sums up the entire character of Ruth:

Respectful, hardworking, caring, unselfish, thoughtful, faithful, loyal, obedient, steadfast, conscientious, loving

 

I think her greatest characteristic was that she was submissive. She was submissive to Naomi and to Boaz, but her ultimate submission was to a God she was just getting to know. When she said, in chapter 1, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God,” she really meant it. She lived those words, and her life led to the birth of the Savior. (See the lineage in Matthew, chapter 1)

So why do I think that “submission” was Ruth’s greatest characteristic? Without doing a whole study on submission, my point of view on submission is really very simple. There is freedom in being submissive. (Please read Romans 6:15-23. I read it in the English Standard Version to get a better understanding of what it said.)

I want to always be aware of the people and things God brings into my life, and remember that every event will lead to THE end. I am responsible for making the choice of whether I want that end to glorify my Savior or myself.

 

Gaining strength though our fellowship.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” {1 John 1:3 KJV}

Photo by Channen M. Sallee

The Beginning of a Love Story

The Beginning of a Love Story
In chapter 3, Ruth’s character is put to the test.

From the narrative, it seems that she and Naomi have been in Bethlehem for quite some time, because Naomi suggests it’s time for Ruth to find a husband.

Naomi instructed Ruth on how she should approach Boaz (3:3-4). Ruth, without question, said, “I will do everything you say.” (3:5) She is respectful and obedient to Naomi. Ruth may have been with her long enough to understand the laws or customs of the Hebrew people. Regardless, she simply did what Naomi told her to do. She could have raised many questions or made demands of her own. But it doesn’t seem that Ruth had even been thinking about her own needs, rather she was focused on caring for Naomi. We also see that Naomi, with her aged wisdom, saw that it was time for Ruth to have a husband. Not only for herself, but also to carry on the family name.

Then Ruth went to where Boaz was going to be sleeping that night and did as Naomi instructed, waited for him to lie down, and then went and lay at his feet. What a sign of submission, to both Naomi and Boaz.

When Boaz realized she was there, he did not chastise her because she had “shown more kindness now than before” (3:10) He said this because he had seen her almost daily for two harvest seasons. He noticed that she had not chased after the younger men, nor had she pursued any man, either rich or poor. She remained steadfast to her commitment to Naomi, because she loved her more than she loved herself. When it came time for her to leave Boaz, the next morning (sleeping at his feet the whole night), she left “while it was still dark” (3: 14) She did not want anyone making assumptions about Boaz. I don’t believe it was for her own reputation. She was conscientious of his reputation.

A word (or 80+) on my thoughts about submission…

According to Strong’s Concordance, to submit means to “to yield to one’s admonition or advice.

How many times has someone, with age and wisdom, told me to do something that was in my best interest and I just thumbed my nose at them? TOO MANY!!!

1 Peter, chapter 5, tells me…”{5} Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” {1 Peter 5:5 KJV} (blueletterbibl.org)

I think the world has told us (women especially) that to be submissive means to be a slave. I believe to be submissive frees me from making mistakes…great big life mistakes! I don’t think God intended me to submit blindly. There has to be some wisdom behind both leading and following. Maybe one day we’ll do an in-depth study on submission…lots of analogies to be made between submission and or relationship with God!!!

The remainder of the chapter speaks about the kindness of Boaz and also his character. He is a man who does not put things off, but gets them done because it is how it should be done. More on Boaz in the next post.  There, you will also read my conclusion about what I feel is Ruth’s most significant characteristic.

 

Photo by Channen M. Sallee