Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ruth 2~Where do we turn when we are empty?

Hi ladies! I'm amazed at the new things the Lord continues to reveal to me in a book that I thought I knew like the back of my hand. I've been excited to share it with you. I love that His Word is inexhaustible!

Let's start with what Chapter 2 says about ...

The attributes this chapter shows are that He:
  • is with us-vs. 4
  • blesses individuals-vs. 4
  • is the God of Israel-vs. 12
  • is a protector-vs.12
  • sees our work-vs.12
  • rewards-vs. 12
  • shows us where to go-vs. 20
Key Words
Boaz=in Him is strength
Glean= gathering of what was left behind after crops were harvested
Kinsmen=the eldest blood relative had the responsibility to redeem family member that had fallen on hard times.

Naomi's heart was different when she returns to Bethlehem. When she left with her family in the beginning of Chapter One, it appeared she had a determined, self sufficient heart that was setting out to a godless land. Her heart upon returning was broken and dependent on God for her every need. She returned with Ruth and a deep feeling of emptiness. The fact that women that met her in Chapter 1 Verse 19 said, "Is this Naomi?" meant that 10 years had taken a toll on her and she did not even look like the same person.

Where do we turn when we are empty?

Take a moment to think-have you ever moved out in your life because you wanted to? Did you turn to others for advice first or did you seek God first? What happened?

Up to this point it has almost seemed like the book we are studying should be named Naomi. Alas! RUTH comes into full view as we study chapter 2. Without further ado...

  • She is a new believer in a new land.
I can only imagine how hard it was for her to leave what she had know her entire life.
  • She was poor.
Only the destitute and poor gathered the left over in the fields after the harvesting.
  • She was patient.
Ruth shows her patience in asking her mother in law for direction and in gathering and then threshing or beating the seeds out for grain.
  • She persevered until she had gathered a whole bushel.
Most people just gathered a couple hands full.
  • She was willing to work.
Ruth did not just sit around being proud of the fact that she had been so faithful to her mother in law and expect God to dump everything else in her lap. Her and Naomi were going to need to eat and she was willing to do whatever she needed to get food. The scripture "work out your salvation" comes to mind here.
  • She was willing to take instruction.
We see Ruth listening to Naomi and Boaz in order to know where she was supposed to go in this new land.
  • She was willing to step out in faith.
It is easy in the boldness of a new believer to just chart your own course, but in Ruth, we see a picture of a woman that listens to instruction and then is courageous enough to step out and trust that she is doing the right thing.
  • She is generous. 
Ruth works hard to glean but she takes the fruits of her labor and the provision Boaz gives her and shares it with Naomi.
  • She was faithful.
Ruth's faithfulness to God and Naomi brought her favor with Boaz. That favor brought her blessing and protection.

  • Are you poor?
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 5:3
When we walk humbly recognizing an Almighty God we can live a life with a heavenly perspective.
  • Are you patient?
Love is patient. -1 Corinthians 13:3
When we have experienced the patient and gracious love of God,  it changes us. We can extend the same patience to others.
  • Are you willing to work?
So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own  salvation with fear and trembling. -Philippians 2:12
As believers we are to work out our salvation in front of a watching world. We are different because of what Jesus has done in our heart. As young moms, you are working out salvation in front of your kids. As a student, you are working out your salvation in front of your teachers and peers.
  • Are you willing to take instruction?
Apply thy heart unto instruction, And thine ears to the words of knowledge. -Proverbs 23:12
Every scripture inspired of God  is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in  righteousness. -2 Timothy 3:16
The most obvious place for us to turn with the Holy Spirit's help is the Bible. It would often make life so much easier if we went there first.
  • Are you bold enough to step out in faith?
in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. -Ephesians 3:12
We often do not embrace the confidence and boldness that our faith in Christ gives us. We have received a great inheritance when we come to faith in Christ. We need to embrace it.
  • Are you generous?
For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you.  John 13:15
Jesus shows us generosity in every facet of His life. He is our example to follow.

  • Are you faithful?
for we walk by faith, not by sight...  2 Corinthians 5:7
It is hard to be people of faith when we can't visibly see answers.
May we move out in faith as Ruth did knowing that we walk before a faithful God that sees our every move and knows what's best for us. May we look at the book of Ruth as an example to us of how to walk humbly but faithfully with an all knowing God.

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