Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 7 – Ruth 1-4

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Ruth 1-4. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.

Thank you for your patience with the Bible readings while my family and I were on vacation. We had a wonderful time visiting Crystal’s family in Florida as well as taking Alivia to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the first time. I should be back to daily blogging and consistency starting today.

Today we start and finish the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth takes place towards the end of the Judges period. We know it is toward the end of the Judges period because Ruth and Boaz are only a few generations removed from David being born who will become the central focus of our next couple of books of the Bible.

As we read the story of Ruth we realize this story is about two women, one the title character Ruth and the other her mother-in-law Naomi. Throughout this telling of Ruth and Naomi’s stories we find one common theme … do what’s right for others. After the death of Naomi’s husband and sons she decides to return home to her own people. Her Moabite daughter-in-laws decide to go with her when she returns. However, she sums up the situation, realizes she will not provide off spring for them to again marry, so she does what’s best for them and sends them home. Orpah finally gives in and goes home, but Ruth does not.

Ruth learns a lesson from Naomi, and just as Naomi looks out for her, she begins to look out for Naomi. She returns with her, and does what is right for Naomi … she gives her companionship, gives her comfort, as well as someone to help provide for her. With Ruth caring for Naomi, Naomi realizes she must do what’s best for Ruth. Devising a plan to both supply what is needed for survival as well as find a husband and redeemer for Ruth, she sends her to work in a close relatives field collecting what has fallen on the ground … remember this concept of collecting what fell on the ground was given by God in the Law to provide for the poor and the widows.

Naomi sends Ruth here to provide for their needs and to find her a husband. The plan works and we find Ruth meeting Boaz. Boaz in multiple ways carries on our theme of doing what is right for others. He gives her more than just what fell on the ground. He orders his men to drop things just for her, and to not chastise her if she picks right off the crop itself. But he goes even further … completing the legal requirements to make her his wife and serve as the kinsmen redeemer … to carry on the family line of Elimelech Naomi’s husband.

Through this entire story of Naomi and Ruth we see people doing the right things for other people. How often do you do the same things? How often do you put other’s needs above your needs? This is a great lesson for us to learn … to care for others above ourselves.

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