Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Woman's Journey - episode 6

Ruth 2:17-20
So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening.  Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.  She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered.  Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.  Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today?  Where did you work?  Blessed be the man who took notice of you!"  Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working.  "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz," she said.  "The Lord bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.  "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead."  She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers." 

In ancient days the kinsman-redeemer was responsible for protecting the interests of needy members of the extended family; to provide an heir for a brother who had died, to redeem land that a poor relative had sold outside the family, to redeem a relative who had been sold into slavery, and to avenge the killing of a relative.  Naomi is encouraged when she hears that the Lord has provided for them by leading Ruth to the fields of a relative who might serve as their kinsman-redeemer.  Naomi has renewed hope.  She earlier blamed God for the sadness and heartache in her life.  Now she realizes that God has not left her, but still provides for her and for Ruth. 

Can you remember that point in your story when you were down, when you felt lost, then suddenly you had renewed hope for your future?  My turning point was gradual; but my renewed hope was sudden.  I had such a low in my life that I honestly couldn't see the next day.  Slowly God pulled me out.  I do recall the day though that I realized why I had been so low.  We sat in church and Ben showed a video with the cards.  People wrote on the cards who they were or what they were before God saved them; then wrote who or what they were after.  God had been rescuing me for some time, but that was my AHA! moment.  I knew instantly what my cards would read.  That was the moment that I knew God was still there, He had not left, but it had been I who had turned away.  I knew at that moment that all I had to do was continue to re-focus my life and He would redeem me.  I had hope for my future. 

Thank God for kinsman-redeemers in ancient days.  God provided for Naomi and Ruth.  He gave them hope for a future.  And what a future it was!  Through Ruth came the ultimate redeemer.  One who provides for us, who saves us, who gives each of us hope for a future despite our failings.

"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.  "Plans to prosper you and not harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future."  Jer 29:11

God, I need you to continue to rescue me.  My sins and my wicked heart are continually trying to pull me down into the muck and the mire.  2 Corinthians 2:10-11 tells us that Satan will try to outwit us; Revelation 12:9 tells us that He leads us to go astray; and Luke 4:13 tells us that he waits for opportunities when we are vulnerable.  I pray for wisdom so he can not outwit me.  I pray for direction so he can not lead me astray.  I pray for strength so I am not providing opportunities by being vulnerable.  I need to arm myself with your truth and that is only done in your word.  You are an amazing God and a loving God.  Please daily remind me to always turn to you and not try to work my way through this world alone.  You promise in Proverbs 3 that you will guide us on the right paths, you will heal us and strengthen us, and you will provide so that we are overflowing if we just trust in you.  I trust in you God.  I thank you for all my many blessings Lord, and I love you.  Amen.

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