I have two daughters. My heart walks around ouside my body. I think about the days I have to play and teach and mold. There aren't that many really. I hold their hands and cuddle in and tell them stories. Some to make them laugh. Some I hope they take to heart. One of my favorite tales is the short four chapter Biblical saga of Ruth.
Once there was a young woman named Ruth. She was a Moabite woman. She fell for an immigrant, an Israeli boy, a refugee who had left his home country with his family to escape famine. Ruth married her man and she committed fully. Ruth bonded with his faith and family. Ruth loved his mama, Naomi, as her own. Then tragedy struck. Her father-in-law, brother-in-law and her husband all died. The famine was closing in. I'm sure she was scared and hungry.
I watch my two girls and wonder what the future holds. I pray we equip them with deep roots and steadfast souls. They will have good days and bad. Joy and sorrow. They will fall down. We all do.
Naomi sat in her grief and saw only one way forward. She had to move home. So she turned to her daughter-in-laws and told them to do the same. Go home girls! They had a good cry and one left. Ruth sat still. She didn't move.
"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back 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." Ruth 1: 16
That verse is the most popular in the book of Ruth. It's said at weddings and stiched on pillows. But I love this one more.
When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. Ruth 1:18
Naomi saw the loyal soul of her daughter-in-law. This verse makes me proud of my tough and steadfast girls. I want them to be brave and unmovable on the things that matter. This is why I tell them the story of Ruth. When it matters - Don't move. Perseverance leads to success. Temptation quits when it sees determination.
Ruth and Naomi travel back to Israel. And Ruth kicks into gear. Ruth spends her days gathering leftover barley from nearby fields in order to feed Naomi and herself. Word of her effort and her loyalty reach the ears of the landowner. Hard work is always a good idea. The best way to get noticed is for character. Enter the male lead - Boaz. This wealthy farmer starts to assist Ruth and gives her a blessing.
May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge." Ruth 2: 12
Oh my daughters! May you choose wisely where you seek help. Trust God. Watch for miracles great and small. They are all around. What a joy it is to celebrate when God builds serendipities into our lives.
When Naomi hears that Boaz is helping Ruth she grins. You see Boaz is their kinsman reedemer. Close relatives were charged with rescuing widows, managing their land and continuing their family line. So Naomi smiles and her heart starts to hope. She starts to plan.
Girls. Wish big giant dreams. Plan and pray. Get after it. Be bold. Control what you can.
Ruth listens to Naomi's plan. She dresses in her finest. Brushes her hair. Approaches Boaz and makes her situation clear. Heads back to Naomi. Then they wait.
Listen my loves. Once you've done all you can, then you wait. Watch and see. The Lord fights for you.
"Then she said, 'Wait my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today." Ruth 3: 18
Naomi and Ruth's story includes a wedding and a baby. A home and a future. A family tree that leads to King David and ultimately to that long awaited Savior.
"Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel." May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him." Ruth 4: 14
You see when God gets involved our story weaves into His. While He does not promise everyone a fairy tale wedding; He does promise a secure future. He promises us all a redeemer. A restorer. A sustainer.
My daughters. Be a Ruth. Loyal. Steadfast. Committed. Determined. Hard Working. Celebrating. Grateful. Bold. Patient. Redeemed.
The Bible Project has succeeded again in this walkthrough of Ruth. The discussion of God's providence and plan working out through individual people's choices inspires me. Watch it!
Liz Curtis Higgs is an engaging funny author. I love her take on the book of Ruth. Click to buy your own copy.
Here is a handy infographic from NewSpring Church for the book of Ruth. This one is pretty! You can check out their Bible study on the book here.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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