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Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22

Judges 21

And the Israelites came to the house of God [Bethel] and sat there until evening before God and lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. [Judg. 20:27.] And they said, O Lord, the God of Israel, why has this come to pass in Israel, that there should be today one tribe lacking in Israel? (Judges 21:2-3 AMP)

Ya think the folks were really interested in what God had to say? I do it, we do it, the church does it—we make decisions based on what seems right to us, what looks right in our own eye failing to seek God’s voice, and if He does speak, we ignore Him. Yet, when faced with the consequences and fruit of our “nutty” behavior, we ask God why? Ain’t nothing new under the sun, but everything is fresh and renewed under the Son.

Ruth

Naomi's bitterness blinded her to the blessing God placed right in her household. Like many women today who have faithfully and dutifully followed there husband into a place where they should have never been, Naomi followed but became bitter. She was dutiful but angry and hurt because her husband took her from the House of Bread, during the time of famine, into a land and a people they should have shunned.

Looking at the names of the men pre-return from Moab, we probably get a hint of there character, and it wasn’t pretty.

Elimelech (Naomi’s Husband)= “my God is king” Now, here was a man that definitely didn’t live up to his name because he left the God who was his king and went to a land where Chemosh was the god of the land.

Mahlon (One of the husbands to Ruth or Orpah) = “sick” I picture a man who was always whining and miserable.

Chilion = “pining”

What did Ruth see in the God that Naomi served in spite of her mother-in-laws bitterness? Whatever it was, she recognized that she had everything to gain and nothing to loose if she failed to go back to her father’s house.

In Ruth’s behavior I see what it truly means to accept Jesus Christ: giving up everything you grew up with, everything you know and attaching yourself to the one true God. Ruth is an Old Testament example of a New Testament work, a changed mind (Romans 12:2) She forsook family, traditions, religion, everything that was familiar to her to follow after Israel’s God. Wow! She did what the Rich Young ruler would not. Have I given up ALL to follow Jesus, or am I hanging out with “Sick, Pining, and My God is king who had forgotten who the King really is?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Ruth
Ruth and Naomi

I get a message from a distant relative yesterday asking if we could get together because she was interested in my mother’s family background and stories. This really tweaked my interest because the story of Ruth in many ways was the story of my mom\ and my grandmother. They had to do the Dr. Zhivago exit from Russia and make their way to Canada via Germany around World War 2. Like Ruth and Naomi, they lost everything and had to go somewhere else. Their family ties gave them optimism and their faith in God gave them hope. I read this story as if it is my family that is being led to a different land and people that will ultimately be a blessing. I can’t imagine some of the suffering and hardship they must have experienced to get to Canada but they had each other and trust in God. My life and family is a beneficiary to their journey and when I read about Ruth and Naomi it feels very close to my own family’s story.

John 4: 1-42
Jesus talks with a Samaritan Woman

Another story that hits home for me. Several years ago I was in Ghana, West Africa at a Liberian Refugee camp. I came across the only water-well in the middle of the day, and it was a rather sorry site. Sewage smell, water seeping out of the ground, chickens, pigs and birds lingering about and nobody there except one woman filling jugs of water. I started a conversation and we got to the point of why I was there. I told her my Ghana Airways plane was denied landing in NYC (no safety certification), and I had to wait for another way home. In the mean time I joined a group that was visiting the camp and I had to opportunity to invite her to Sunday Church where I would be giving my testimony. She knew the Church but was a bit skeptical and I left the Holy Spirit do his work. I did not see her that Sunday and I left not knowing if anything became of my talk with her. It wasn’t until I returned home and I read this scripture that I was reminded of my experience. Even though it wasn’t as in depth as Jesus conversation, the outcome was still in God’s hands and I realized I must always be prepared to share the Gospel.


This story of Ruth makes me always think of my family, my husband and his mom. Such a sweet remarkable woman. She had my husband and his brother..just like Naomi. She has lost 2 husband's by death and their dad and her are divorced. I'd like to think because I don't have any other family but my husband's family that I would cling to his and her. I always cherished this story in the Bible.

I love the story at the well..maybe because my biological mother was promiscuous and had many "husbands" but none married..and she got salvation before she passed..makes me think of her..salvation is for the ones who need it, freely and given by grace!

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