... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Friday, December 01, 2006

Choices Matter

Do you remember Ruth in the Bible? Usually we recall her words to Naomi, "Where you will go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (Ruth 1:16b NIV)

Naomi and her family had left Judah due to a famine. They had crossed the Jordan into Moab where there was food. Her sons marry Moabites, Naomi's husband dies and then her sons die also.
The famine ends in Judah so Naomi is returning home to die. Out of love for her daughter-in-laws, she gives them her blessing and tells them to return to their mother's house.
(Tradition tells us that Naomi probably had no male relatives because they would have cared for her and married her daughter-in-laws.)
Orpah & Ruth accompany Naomi to Judah. Once there, Orpah kisses Naomi good-bye and returns home weeping. Ruth also wept, but refuses to return to Moab.

Now in Bethlehem, the love story of Ruth and Boaz begins. And I wonder, "Why Bethlehem?"
The end of the chapter answers my question.

Ruth is to become the great grandmother of David thus fulfilling Isaiah's words that the Messiah would be from the house of David. Micah foretold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.

Today let's think about Naomi and Ruth relationship. First, Naomi gave Orpah & Ruth her blessing, which indicates her love, wisdom and grace. As a Jew, she continued to follow God while in Moab, which must have included teaching her daughter-in-laws. Ruth desired to follow the God of Naomi even though she was a gentile.

The question to ponder today is do we demonstrate God's love as Naomi did? In our actions and relationships do we reflect God's grace, wisdom, and love? Does He shine through me? Through you?

Naomi's choice mattered; if she had returned to Moab, history would have changed. Tomorrow, we'll consider why.


Shalom, Connie

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