Archive for the ‘ruth’ Category

Project 66 – Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel

Three days into my travels without a CD player or iPod has compelled me all the more to keep my focus on the Lord and His word, mostly Project 66.

It’s amazing how I can scarce keep my focus on prayer for more than 5 minutes but I can rehash a memory or a “what-if” scenario in my mind for 15 minutes without interruption. Fifteen minutes gone, lost forever, and not one single benefit from it.

So I thank God that He has brought this project to mind, because it has been very ministerial.

Judges – 1 Samuel

Judges 21:25 A good summary verse of the decline of the book of Judges

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Of course, not everyone thought like Hitler or Stalin, but they just made sure that they looked out for number one in their lives, no matter the cost. Needless to say, chaos and pain abound.

You can read Judges and see the degradation of the situation increase as they move further and further away from the Lord’s prescribed ways.

Thankfully, we have Ruth to go to for a breath of fresh air, after reading Judges 17-21.

  • Instead of unfaithfulness, there is loyalty.
  • Instead of immorality, there is purity.
  • Instead of battlefields, there are harvestfields.
  • Instead of warrior shouts, there is the harvesters songs.
  • There are no miracles in Ruth, Judges had lots.
  • There are no villians in Ruth, Judges had gobs.
  • This is a book that is just “life as usual” and yet it is exceptional.

Ruth 1:16-17 Turning point of all 4 chapters as well as for the Messianic Line

But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you,
or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

A promise made, a promise kept. So unlike the book of Judges where everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

I’m also struck by Naomi. What if she had not stopped entreating Ruth to leave, but sabotaged the whole relationship and sent Ruth packing? There is faithfulness of both women’s parts. I fall more in love with this book each time I read it!

Ruth 1:16-1

Ruth Commiting herself to Naomi

Enough about David’s great-grandmother, what about David himself?!

1 Samuel 17:45 – One of two people come to mind when you say David’s name, I’m going to think on Goliath instead of the other!

Then David said to the Philistine (Goliath),
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.
But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel [or your name], whom you have defied.”

Though that is all that is required for my little Project 66, I am including for my own sake, verse 47:

“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

What boldness! No wonder his older brother thought he was being a brat and troublemaker! O Lord, make me a “troublemaker” like David, so that I too may kill the spiritual Goliath’s in my own life.

That’s it for now. I’m writing from St. Louis at my brother’s house. And can’t wait to get the kayak out on the lake in just about 10 minutes. It’s a great place to ponder some more on Project 66 and the Lord of the Project Himself!

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Results of Faith’s Choice

I’m so glad I have something as uplifting and soothing as the book of Ruth to read while I am going through this “crisis”! Well, alright, perhaps “crisis” is a bit dramatic, however…

My life-support (which is a HP zd7000 laptop) has refused to maintain power. I’ve paid $160 for data recovery, but the computer itself I have stripped down to the bare motherboard, thinking that some component was shorting it. But even with just a butt-naked motherboard…it refuses to stay on! And I tell you what, I wouldn’t have had such a delightful time reading Judges 19 at the same time as wrestling with this “crisis”!

I’m borrowing my nephew’s computer to write this and he tells me I have one guitar hero song before he is going to bed. So it may be a short one…and it is a such a good chapter, that I think I will be compelled to revisit Ruth 4 when I have a longer period of time to type it.

Boaz is a winner of a guy. Smart, clever, a man of action, caring, honest, careful, etc. And now he is Ruth’s man! Remember chapter 1, where she made a choice by faith that appeared to be social suicide?

This is just an excellent example of how God more than compensates, His restoration goes beyond our lose, He is a God of replacement!

He’s more than proven that to me in some major areas of my life, but even in these small computer-related issues, I can take heart…He is the editor of my life and knows exactly what is needed to work all things to my good.

I wonder what my David will look like after this HP fiasco is all said and done!

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect timing. Thank You for being my Kinsman Redeemer. Help me to be as faithful as Boaz, as grateful as Naomi and as virtuous as Ruth. I want to be Your Obed (Servant).

YYZ is over, so I must sign off. When the outlook appears dark, try the Up Look!

3 Traits from Ruth 3

What a man of integrity Boaz is proving to be! First of all, he remained in Bethlehem and endured the famine, while his relative, Elimelech did not have the faith to stay put in the House of Bread.

Secondly, he is faithful to be working the fields. He is faithful to his workers, blessing them as he speaks to them. He is faithful to Naomi. He is faithful to Ruth and other gleaners. He is faithful to nearer kinsman. And to think, this is all taking place in the days the judges ruled!
Today’s chapter of Ruth 3 is so refreshing. It is such a delight to read this portion through purity’s eyes. That things happened exactly as the words tell it, and nothing of import has been censored out.
I’m struck by how much caring is going on in this little book. We could even say that Elimelech was trying to care for his family by leaving Bethlehem. Naomi caring for her daughter-in-laws. Ruth caring for Naomi. Boaz caring for Ruth. And in this chapter we see Naomi caring for Ruth. 
It seems that legally Naomi would have first dibs on Mr. Man. And yet there is no hint in Naomi’s dealings that she would withhold a possibility of a husband from Ruth.
And Boaz seems as if he must be an older gentleman, for he marvels that Ruth has not gone after younger fellows. The simplicity of two faithful people meeting and falling in love…I find it to be thoroughly refreshing.
How many of us long to be called virtuous? I love that word. It’s an uncommon word perhaps because it is an uncommon trait. 
Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtuous woman. Yet only Ruth is called such. And reading through this book with Ruth’s characteristics in mind, we will find a mountain of evidence to support that assessment.
Faithfulness, Caring & Virtue…3 challenges from Ruth 3 today. 
  • Faithful to God’s Word
  • Caring to Other People
  • Virtuous in my life

Come Holy Spirit! These three traits cannot exist in my life without Your presence. Help me be a Ruth in my dealings with people, and to be as submissive to good counsel as she was. Virtuous, what would that look like on me?…lead me on oh Holy Spirit, to be more like Jesus Christ.

Gossip on Purpose!

This Ruth gal is one of kind. She is committed, she is hard-working, she is humble, she is frugal and generous.

Ruth chapter 2 is helping me recover from the last 5 chapters of Judges where every man did what was right in his own eyes. I can’t help but see Jesus Christ pictured in Boaz. But I’ll have to leave that for the 4th chapter!
Two items clamor for my attention today.
First, I love how verse 16 reads in the King James Version:

And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.  

Who wouldn’t want handfuls of purpose in their lives? Some days I think, “I would be satisfied with just one purpose!” And yet 

God has created us in Christ Jesus for good works, which God purposed beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)  

 

He has given us a purpose, to glorify Him. And if I don’t know anything else to do, I can always commune with Him by prayer and His word.
I love that phrase, handfuls of purpose and long to live on purpose as a result!
The other thing is gossip.

It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband…  

 

Everyone knew of Ruth’s love and commitment to Naomi. Praise the Lord! Good news carried like wildfire instead of slander or rumors. I only want to be a gossiper if I can share good news!

Lord, thank you for the purity and virtue of Ruth. How I hunger for that kind of commitment, faithfulness, and submission. I want to live purposefully for You and to only share the kind of news that will edify and build up other people and glorify You. Thank you for the bountiful gleanings You are giving in the Scriptures this past month. You are a mighty God, righteous and gracious altogether!  

 

Gossip on Purpose!

This Ruth gal is one of kind. She is committed, she is hard-working, she is humble, she is frugal and generous.

Ruth chapter 2 is helping me recover from the last 5 chapters of Judges where every man did what was right in his own eyes. I can’t help but see Jesus Christ pictured in Boaz. But I’ll have to leave that for the 4th chapter!
Two items clamor for my attention today.
First, I love how verse 16 reads in the King James Version:

And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

Who wouldn’t want handfuls of purpose in their lives? Some days I think, “I would be satisfied with just one purpose!” And yet

God has created us in Christ Jesus for good works, which God purposed beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

He has given us a purpose, to glorify Him. And if I don’t know anything else to do, I can always commune with Him by prayer and His word.

I love that phrase, handfuls of purpose and long to live on purpose as a result!

The other thing is gossip.

It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband…

Everyone knew of Ruth’s love and commitment to Naomi. Praise the Lord! Good news carried like wildfire instead of slander or rumors. I only want to be a gossiper if I can share good news!

Lord, thank you for the purity and virtue of Ruth. How I hunger for that kind of commitment, faithfulness, and submission. I want to live purposefully for You and to only share the kind of news that will edify and build up other people and glorify You. Thank you for the bountiful gleanings You are giving in the Scriptures this past month. You are a mighty God, righteous and gracious altogether!

Choice of Faith

Even with the death of 75% of Naomi’s family, I still feel a great relief to be out of the book of Judges! At least in the first chapter of Ruth, the deaths seem to be a bit more natural and less gruesome.But Ruth 1 is a chapter full of choices, and I’m wondering if I have the faith to make choices based on a word from God rather than on my own reasoning (and just what is the difference between reasoning and rationalization, anyway?)Elimelech reasoned to himself,

“there is a famine in the land God has told us to occupy, but I have a family to feed. I hear the territory God told us NOT to occupy has food. Maybe I’ll head on over there just for a wee visit and get our family some grub.”

Remember, this was during the times of the judges, and we have discovered the theme of those days were:

“Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

So Elimelech did what was right in his own eyes and took his family to Moab. It only makes sense after all, he has a family to feed, and the place the Lord has led him to is suffering a famine.And just like the book of Judges, death ended up being a result.Naomi made a choice to return to the place she left. To go back to Bethlehem, which means the House of Bread. (interesting to note that the Bread of Heaven was born in the House of Bread!). Though she felt bitter, she knew her only hope was to return to where God had told them to lodge.Orpah made a choice. The reasoning of her mother-in-law (and just what is the difference between reasoning and rationalization, anyway?) convinced Orpah that it would be a death-sentence to follow after Naomi and her God.Ruth…ah dear Ruth. She made a choice. And oh how I desire to be like Ruth. She made a choice that presented all kinds of problems and barriers and hopelessness. Yet she made a choice to pursue after Naomi’s God.Come poverty, singleness, permanent widowhood, abuse, hard times, homelessness, barrenness, victim of prejudice or hate…she was committed to Jehovah. It seemed she was walking right into a definite losing situation. It went against all reasoning and rationalizing. It was social suicide. And yet, she seems to have heard the Word of the Lord, and followed after it.What a choice of faith. As Robert Chapman says,

“To act when your path is clear of difficulties is not faith,but to act despite the difficulties the Word of God apparently creates for you…this is the kind of faith that pleases God the most.”

What a woman of Faith. What a choice of Faith. And hopefully we will see how God is going to transform this choice of social suicide into something beautiful. If He can trannsform the Cross into the Salvation of Mankind…He can transform our hard trials and circumstances into something shockingly marvelous.

O Lord, my heart trembles at the question, “do you believe in God’s transforming power?” I fear I would rather trust my own reasoning and pretend I don’t hear You, instead of making a choice of faith like Ruth did. I believe, Lord. Help Thou my unbelief.

After reading Judges 17-21, Ruth is like a lovely lily in a stagnant pool. Here, instead of unfaithfulness, is loyalty; and instead of imoorality is purity. Here, instead of battlefields are harvest fields, and isntead of the warrior’s shout is the harvester’s song. We are in for a treat with this book! 

I Don’t Want to Do it My Way!

Oh I can’t wait for the refreshment that will be found in Ruth! Because these last five chapters have been a real cesspool…and sometimes hitting a little too close to home.

The last chapter of Judges (Judges 21) continues the soap opera of life where “every man went to his own tribe…to his own family….every man to his own inheritance. In those days there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
(her could just as easily be substituted for his)

And just like I couldn’t wait for Judges to end, so I can’t wait for the same conniving to end in my own life.

Just how many man-made schemes have we read about this month in our journey through Judges? Every question posed to the “children of God” seems to end up one way or the other, involving harm and death.

And what have these brilliant plans of men accomplished? They have gone full-circle. Their ultimate solution for the mistreatment of a woman (Judges 19) is the exploitation of at least 600 more women (Judges 21).

Oh the progress and forward thinking of mankind!

I have a tendency to relate more to the prodigal son rather than the older son in Luke 15. As a result, I’m inclined to criticize those who look down on others, all the while sympathizing with the one who wasted their riches with swine.

So in my forward thinking, I end up judging those who judge others. Hmmmmmm. Now how is that really all that different?

So here are the children of Israel judging the Benjamites for mistreating a woman, who end up mistreating women to help the Benjamites! Oh God for a heaven-centered balance!

Just how scheming, conniving, manipulative, rationalizing, and deceived we can become if the Lord does not intervene in our lives and disrupt the whole vicious cycle of it all!

O Lord, I don’t want to do it my way. My heart is desperately wicked and is unable to see what is right and good. Let me live in Your reality. Lord Jesus be my King.