She Chose Israel

SHE CHOSE ISRAEL

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Ruth 4:13

God’s best for us is not always the easiest choice. We often have to accept much bad along with the good.

Ruth had lived in Israel long enough to have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. She could have returned home, but she chose to stay. She could have chosen to convert but just live elsewhere. There are many Christians that love Jesus but really struggle with His followers. I’m sure I can be one of those difficult people that others don’t like at times. Being part of the Body of Christ is similar to being part of a family. We don’t get to choose who we are related to. It just is what it is. Continue reading “She Chose Israel”

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It’s Public

IT’S PUBLIC

“Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may be not cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”

At the time of our salvation, we change hands. Our redemption is proclaimed and celebrated in Heaven.

Back during Old Testament times, business dealings and transactions were as public as weddings. They happened at the town gate in front of the town leaders and before anyone else who wanted to watch. Ruth may have approached Boaz in the secret of night but Boaz completed the redemption in public. (Not unlike Nicodemus seeking Jesus .) Continue reading “It’s Public”

The Dark Side Of Christmas

THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS

“Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15b

While we usually focus on the joyous and tender aspects of the Christmas story, there is a darker side. The other part of the Christmas story is nothing short of terrifying.

At Christmastime, we focus on the joy of Christ’s birth. He is the star of this true story. After all, He came to save us from sin. But there is another part of the Christmas story that is just devastating. In Matthew 2, the wise men seek the King Who is promised in the stars. King Herod receives them in a visit and asks that he be notified when they find this King. He said that he wanted to worship Him. What they did not know at the time was that Herod’s intentions were evil. He wanted to destroy anyone who would threaten his reign. It did not matter that the threat was an innocent child. Continue reading “The Dark Side Of Christmas”

Why We Need a Christmas

THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS

“Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15b

While we usually focus on the joyous and tender aspects of the Christmas story, there is a darker side. The other part of the Christmas story is nothing short of terrifying.

At Christmastime, we focus on the joy of Christ’s birth. He is the star of this true story. After all, He came to save us from sin. But there is another part of the Christmas story that is just devastating. In Matthew 2, the wise men seek the King Who is promised in the stars. King Herod receives them in a visit and asks that he be notified when they find this King. He said that he wanted to worship Him. What they did not know at the time was that Herod’s intentions were evil. He wanted to destroy anyone who would threaten his reign. It did not matter that the threat was an innocent child. Continue reading “Why We Need a Christmas”

The Pain Of Obedience

THE PAIN OF OBEDIENCE

“…a sword shall pierce your own soul…” Luke 2:35
Have you been obedient to God only to find yourself disappointed in the outcome? Have you tried with everything to honor Jesus only to find yourself dishonored?

At Christmastime, we focus on the lights, the presents, and the baby. We sing songs about the awe and fear that Mary felt when she held her firstborn son, the firstborn of creation. What God asked Mary to do was an honor but the dishonor she would experience from her own community would be heartbreaking. I’ve wondered if this is why she accompanied Joseph for the census. What would have happened if she stayed? Who would believe that she was pure? The sin of fornication was punishable by stoning. She was told by Zachariah when she and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple that a sword would pierce her heart. What a burden for a young woman to carry. Continue reading “The Pain Of Obedience”

An Insult Among Brothers

AN INSULT AMONG BROTHERS

So when the redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal. Ruth 4:8

Our God resurrects dead things. Have we experienced enough of God’s love and forgiveness to bring life to others?

Ruth chapter four opens with a scene that is much more shameful than meets the naked eye. Boaz approaches the nearest relative about redeeming Naomi’s husband’s property. The relative jumps at the idea, that is until he discovers that he has to marry Ruth, the Moabitess. When we read this story, we instantly get excited (at least I usually do) that Boaz, the hero, gets to marry Ruth. But we miss something in between. It was a great shame in Israel and Judah for a man to refuse to redeem. In order for a man to redeem, he would have to marry and impregnate the dead man’s widow. The baby would then carry on the family line for the deceased. This was God’s way of ensuring that no line would end. For this man to refuse to take on this responsibility was a terrible thing. The relative basically admitting that he was selfish. He didn’t want to jeopardize his own inheritance. Continue reading “An Insult Among Brothers”

A Holy Trap

THE HOLY TRAP  

Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.”  Ruth 4:5  ESV 

There is often a misconception in the church that we need to be wise as doves and innocent as serpents.  The Bible teaches quite the opposite.

I grew up being taught that if anyone asked me a question that I had to answer them.  It didn’t matter how inappropriate the question was.  If an adult inquired, then I would have to go out of my way to tell them everything that they wanted to know.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that not only did this belief turn me into a victim, it was not even biblical.  We don’t have to display all our cards at once.  There are secrets that are OK to keep.  For example, there are things that a husband and wife should never share with anyone.  They are holy and private.  The same goes for timing.  There is a time and a place to reveal information.  It’s never a good idea to allow others to bully us into giving up things that either we shouldn’t or that it is not the right time to show. Continue reading “A Holy Trap”