Study from God’s Word… Ruth, Chapters 1 – 4 … Passage for Reflection: Ruth 1: 16 … NIV 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
My Journal for Today: Well, Dr. Smith takes a breather from his teaching time in the Book of Judges to look at a famous story from the Book of Ruth, the story of another person living at the time of the Judges who made a critical choice in life based on values. And this is the story of Ruth who chose to follow her Mother-In-Law, Naomi, back to Naomi’s native land, leaving behind all Ruth had there in her home country of Moab. And this included a choice to turn away from the gods of Moab and to follow Naomi’s God, Who was the God of the Israelites.
Yesterday [see my journal entry from 3/21], we read of warriors who had to choose to say “Shibboleth” as they crossed the Jordan; and if they said the wrong thing, it led to their death. And God led 42,000 Ephraimites to their death in this way, once again liberating the Hebrews from their enemies. The story from my devotional time today about Ruth is much easier to take; but it, too, involves making choices which have ultimate and eternal implications.
Ruth had a choice to make when Naomi decided to return to Canaan from Moab; and Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, … also choosing to worship Naomi’s God, Who was the one true God. This choice, as we read in the Book of Ruth, led to a whole series of people making their own choices, or in reality led by God, which became choices leading to the marriage of Ruth to Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, and ultimately to the birth of a son, who became the grandfather of King David.
CHOICES! We make choices; and they will have consequences; and the consequences will be used by God – in some way – for His glory. But in the mix, our choices will have consequences for us personally as well. Ruth could have chosen to stay in Moab, as did her sister-in-law, Orpah; and we don’t know what happened to Orpah. But we do know, as do all through history who read God’s Book, that Ruth’s choices, especially to follow the one, true God, led her to be the grandmother of the great King, David. And the story of Ruth is one we should recognize as having powerful value for our lives and our choices.
When you or I make Godly choices, God will honor those choices within His perfect plan; and we will become a part of that plan. And we know, from reading much of the Old Testament, that ungodly choices, such as those made by the Pharaoh of Egypt in the times of Moses, will lead those who make such choices to be part of God’s plan to overcome man’s evil with His good. How we participate in God’s grand scheme will all be reflective our choices. I will pray that our choices be Godly choices. And today, I pray that I will make choices which honor my God.
To any of my non-American readers, forgive my being a bit provincial here; but yesterday many of our governmental representatives made choices to vote for or against a health care plan for our nation; and those choices are going to have consequences which ripple through our land for years to come. But God is in control! … And just as He was in the life of Ruth, our God will have His will in the lives of all today. May He have mercy on us; because the choices made yesterday by our government do not appear – at least to this humble observer – to be choices which honor and glorify God. And my friend, God will not be mocked; and we will reap what we sow; … AND … the rain of God’s plan will fall on the righteous as well as the unrighteous. Oh, may God have mercy on us!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me, lead me, … shepherd me to make choices which are part of Your plan and Your perfect will. Amen