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Short Thoughts on Ruth 2

So, Ruth 2 is all about the meeting between Ruth and Boaz. From the moment we see Boaz in verse 4, he is speaking the Lord’s praises and encouraging his servants in a Godly manner. The first words we hear (or see) him say are: “The Lord be with you!” That says a lot to me. This says to me that the most important take-away that we have of Boaz is that he is a Godly man who loves the Lord.

As we go further through the chapter, we see that not only is he a man of God, but he is very concerned with the welfare of his servants and of Ruth. Ruth sets herself apart from the other servants by her diligent work. It is very similar to that of the Proverbs 31 woman – here it says that she “has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.” Ruth knew that she needed to be very appreciative of the opportunity that she was given, and she takes full advantage of it by working hard. She is also unafraid of hard work – she is out in the fields gleaning the barley that is left over from the “reapers.” When Boaz finds out who she is, he tells her to stay only in his field from now on, so that she will not have to worry about being assaulted by other workers, because she is protected in his field. That’s a pretty great introduction!

Ruth’s reaction to his caring nature is sweet – in verse 10 she “fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?'” This really reminds me of David in Psalm 8:4, and Job in 7:17. There is also a similarity between what she says and what Moses said to God when he was given the task of leading the Israelites out of slavery – “Who am I that they will take notice of me?” In Exodus 3:11 he says: But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” This idea of “Who am I?” really struck a cord with me. It’s important along with the ideas from the previous chapter.

Boaz also makes a reference in verse 12 to “the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” and this is just another way to show that he loved the Lord. This is seen all throughout the Psalms – David loved to use this metaphor. (Psalm 91:4) Boaz then invites Ruth to the table to share a meal and to eat until she is full. He gives her wine from his table. He is just all around taking care of her already, and he doesn’t have any relation to her other than her mother-in-law is part of his family. That’s a generous man! Then, if that wasn’t enough, he told his reapers to intentionally leave out bundles of barley for her to collect so that she would have more to take home with her! Just over and over again we see that he is already giving her so much and already so protective of her, and they have no relationship. It’s a great start to a wonderful relationship, and it’s also an amazing analogy to the love that God has for us. Without having anything to offer Him, He cares for us and makes us a part of His family with His generosity and protection. It’s pretty wonderful!

Short Thoughts on Ruth 1

So, after seeing a lot of my friends and Instacquaintances (yes I just made that word up, cool) post about how they are reading through Ruth, I decided maybe I would join the bandwagon a little late and do my own little read through/study.

Tonight I did just Chapter 1, and I’m planning (hopefully) to continue over the next 3 days to finish the book, since it only has 4 chapters.

I started out reading it and was just kinda, “Oh, okay, so her [Naomi] life was really sad… her husband and her sons died in an unknown amount of time and she was left with no family… alright.” But then, I decided to really think through some of the passages, and I found some pretty interesting thoughts I thought I would share.

Although Naomi has a tendency to be very sad and bitter (more on that in a minute), she does encourage her daughter in laws to become their own people again. She encourages them in verses 8-14 to leave her and return to their own people and families, but she does it in a “my life is so terrible, you don’t want to be around me, I have nothing to offer you” type of way, but she still does encourage them to pursue their own lives again, and not be afraid to seek new husbands. And one of the daughters does choose to do this – Orpah. This is the only thing we know about her. But as for Ruth, she not only wept with her mother in law, she shows her love and dedication to this woman by refusing to leave her side.

Probably the most famous verse (or group of verses) from the entire book happen in the first chapter, Ruth 1: 16-17, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where 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. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me to you.”

What’s interesting to me is that this verse is now used at weddings. This is a verse that shows and explicates true, selfless, Jesus-like love for a woman that wasn’t her flesh and blood, but she became her adoptive family when she married Naomi’s son. This is really similar to the adoption analogy that is seen in many parts of the gospels. I love the fact that although this can be used to describe the selfless love that we are expected to have in marriage, but it really is more about selflessly loving the family and body of Christ.

Later in this same chapter, we see these two women journey back to Ruth’s homeland – Bethlehem – and upon their return, Naomi tells everyone that knew her to call her by Mara, not Naomi. This is because she believes that her life has been made bitter by the Lord. Naomi means “pleasant” while Mara means “bitter” interestingly enough.

This point didn’t seem very important to me at first. Yeah, she changed her name because she felt that her life was horrible, but so what? The importance in this is not just the name change, but the idea behind it. Her entire identity was now defined by that loss. The loss of her husband and her sons defined her entire being to the point that she felt the need to be renamed in a way that she felt portrayed her personality. She did not feel bitter about her life. She WAS bitter. That’s a scary thought.

 

I know I have a tendency to be defined by things that are happening in my life. I am depression, I am anxiety, I am failure; instead of seeing things how they are. I may feel depressed, I may feel anxious, I may feel failure if I don’t succeed the way I want, but I am not those things. I am choosing now to no longer be defined by those things and instead to let them be what they are:  conditions, shapes, states of my life that change every second. Why be defined by something that will be different tomorrow? Instead, I’m choosing now to be defined by what I know will not change: my status in God’s kingdom. I am His child, His beloved, and I’m ready to start being defined by that. There’s so much freedom when I live that way. It’s time to embrace it.

albertolopezphoto Anxiety and depression. It is culminated in the constant thinking, worrying about everything, and letting it affect your life. The frustration, the self-loathing and the endless hours of time drowning in your own all-consuming thoughts. I know it all because I’ve been there. Through every panic attack and mental breakdown alone in my room…

via Why I Refuse to Let My Anxiety and Depression Define Me — Thought Catalog

My Husband Doesn’t Post About Me on Social Media (and That’s Fine With Me)

We’ve all seen the posts. The sappy, romantic, love-letter-like, nearly obsessive social media posts that significant others put out there about each other. Sometimes the “Man-crush Mon…

Source: My Husband Doesn’t Post About Me on Social Media (and That’s Fine With Me)

haylee –You keep me safe. On a Thursday night, or a Sunday morning. When the clouds fill the sky and the rain softly hits the window. When the moon greets the stars and the sun kisses the ocean. You keep me safe. When the outside world is too much to bare. From a rough day…

via You Keep Me Safe, And I’ll Keep You Wild — Thought Catalog

1. Headphones in = don’t want to talk.One headphone in = still don’t want to talk.No headphones in = probably still don’t want to talk. — introvert Life (@IntrovertLiving) March 21, 2016 2. When I am invited places, it is more important for me to know who will be there as opposed to what we…

via 44 Tiny Frustrations Only Introverts Can Relate To — Thought Catalog

You’re the one who may always be ‘too much’ for the people who are calm and complacent and steady. But you’ll never be too much for the fierce ones.

via For The Women Who Feel Like ‘Too Much’ — Thought Catalog

georgia.may.pjThere’s an old quote that I completely love: “Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them.” — Unknown Yes. Yessss. I want to take whoever came up with that line and just freaking squeeze them. They understand.…

via Date The Girl That Drives You Crazy — Thought Catalog

My Thoughts on Orlando… and yes, I am a Christian

As the world has been mourning the loss of so many lives in Orlando this past week, it’s really gotten me thinking; and the verse that continually pops into my head is Romans 12:15:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

I have seen so many blog posts, news stories, and social media that have been focused on how Christians judge the lifestyles of these people, or how Christians couldn’t possibly care about the shooting, and a lot of other really nasty things that have made me extremely sad for America.

The truth is, regardless of the lifestyle, the “sins” that these people committed, and all of the other crap that we’ve been hearing about, the bottom line is this:

The Bible itself says that we should be sad with those who are sad, and rejoice when they rejoice. Everyone is made in the image of God.  ALL fall short of the glory of God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (ESV, emphasis mine). Romans 3:23.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

The amazing part of Romans 3:23 is that in every translation it’s literally the exact same words. That has to mean something right? It says ALL people. All have fallen short – not just homosexual people, not just addicts, not just those with poor impulse control,  ALL.

So instead of making the Orlando tragedy about persecuting lifestyles (which shouldn’t be done in the first place – some people need to review how Jesus actually lived) but about appreciating that there were so many images of God that needlessly died. These people had families, loved ones, people who knew them, cared about them, and now those people will live with a loss like no other. Those who were lost can no longer create, love, or change. That, in itself, is a tragedy.

Focus on what actually happened. Don’t turn this into yet another way to publicize your agenda.

You can find me weeping with those who weep.

 

-P

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