I have been studying the book of Ruth from the Old Testament for the last month and a half. Not for the usual reasons. Women are generally told to learn of and study Ruth’s life in preparation of meeting their own Boaz or future mate. I understand that as a single born again Christian woman, Jesus is my Boaz till I marry. So, anything I do now in “preparation” is really maintaining and improving when it comes to OUR relationship together.
The character I have been drawn to is Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi (from her first marriage) and her development throughout the book…from being a bitter and discouraged woman that mourned the loss of her husband and her two sons…to becoming a helpful, selfless, wise and mature woman, who was finally restored and redeemed beyond measure…
In my own life I have had to put aside feelings of rejection, failure, disappointment, betrayal, mistrust, doubt and a host of others in order to not close my eyes and heart to visions of God’s will for my life. During this last year for example the roots of my character have been examined, tested and still are as I have begun the process of executing / birthing visions. I am not the same person I was a year ago and I know it is all for the better.
What inspired me to begin this study of Ruth was as I was coming home from a powerful rehearsal session of the volunteer / seed sowing ministry I serve in Music (at my church), the Lord through the Holy Spirit pressed on my heart to begin reading. Since I joined my church now over 5 years ago, I have made it my business to always have in my bag a Bible translation. So when prompted, I didn’t question why I was being led, I just began to read.
What has surprised me the most is the fact that I do not know how I could had (in the past) overlooked the importance of Naomi’s role in the story’s back drop. It was Naomi’s son whom Ruth was first married to. It was Naomi’s homeland of Bethlehem where Ruth is introduced to Boaz and it was Naomi who advised Ruth in all she should do to prepare for Boaz. It was Naomi in the end of the book that becomes nurse to Ruth and Boaz son O’bed who would one day be the paternal grandfather to King David.
Naomi was able to do this because her heart began to be changed through service and obedience she received from Ruth. Slowly her attitude became one of gratitude. So, like many great preparers of other biblical characters before and after her, Jethro (Moses’s father-in-law) Samuel (prophet and appointed kings), Mordecai (uncle and adviser of Queen Esther) she was used by God in such a way that has affected generations.
That part of her testimony is one that I want to one day also be remembered for…
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