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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Ruth 1 : 1-22

"But Ruth said, “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

A bold step taken by Ruth to pledge her allegiance to the living God is the crux of our reading today.  Ruth, a worshipper of another god came into the household of the people of the true living God, probably thinking her life would be good from then on. But we see that it wasn’t so good at the beginning of the story as one disaster after another walked into the family.  Then it came to a point where she and her sister-in-law Orpah were given the opportunity to leave after the death of the breadwinners of the family.  Not only that, Naomi concretes her case saying “…No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.” (Ruth 1:13) Yet Ruth was not tempted to leave, instead took the right decision to stay with the people of God by cleaving to her mother-in-law, to care for her and be with her, come what may!

In the same way when we are chosen by God and translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son, we are added to the family of God (church) to grow and to be discipled.  But not everything is smooth sailing, even though when we first come to know Him, we think that, “Ah! Now all my problems are finished, I am going to have great life ….” But as we all know this is not so.  God begins a work in us to get rid of all the things that weigh us down. It is both an inward and outward struggle-strife from within and without.  Difficult circumstances that we do not /may never understand, come our way.  One may even come to the point of wanting to leave the people of God or even the faith.  It is at this crossroad that a crucial decision is usually taken!  Be careful that you do not take the decision that Orpah did but instead take the right decision as Ruth did.

Even with an unknown future before her, Ruth decided to cleave to Naomi, the only source of comfort she trusted and followed her wherever she went.  Let us also follow the Author and Finisher of our faith, Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:2) by following in his footsteps, so that we like Ruth will enter into the rest that is promised.

Throughout this book you see Ruth’s obedience to her mother-in-law, even though some of the instructions may have seemed odd or confusing; yet she obeyed without questioning, which led to her and her household’s redemption!

We to have been given shepherds (leaders), put in charge over the congregation that we are in. Let us also follow, obey and support them as they follow the Lord, by keeping our eyes upon the Lord.  We may not be able to fully grasp many of the things they do or the way they lead the flock.  But like Ruth let us trust in the Lord and follow so that we can bring to fruition the vision given to the church, to us as individuals and our own household. Let us patiently wait, watch and pray through our own trials, those difficult times in the church, problems from the outside— by supporting one another,  “… until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13)
When we do this, we too like Ruth will be known in the city for the good that was done, thus manifesting and bringing glory to Christ! (Refer Ruth 3:11)

Thought: " …Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ…"    - 2 Cor 3:2-3 [NLT]

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