Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
Imperfect Heroes (Part 25)
'Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Ruth 1:16 (NKJV)
God doesn't reveal any flaw in Ruth,* except she was born and raised in Moab: akin to 'the other side of the tracks.' She was a foreigner from the wrong nation; a sometimes enemy of Israel; a distant cousin through Lot's misfortune; a nation worshipping different gods.**
When Ruth met God through her new family (because she married an Israelite), when she saw God's kindness in Naomi (because her mother-in-law guided her), Ruth made a choice that would change everything. She chose God, Naomi and a new life.
Ruth walked with Naomi to Bethlehem. Her beauty and virtue were recognized, as she gleaned grain in the fields to feed them. Later, through Naomi's daring counsel, Ruth married a wealthy man named Boaz. Their son would be King David's grandfather, and Ruth would be a noble heroine.
Perhaps Ruth's story is in the Bible to show us the value of outsiders; how they may be diamonds in the rough; how their virtues and work may enrich us; how not to be smug isolationists; how to welcome them into our nation... and most especially into our faith.***
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What can we learn from the life of Ruth? https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Ruth.html
** Short article: Who was Chemosh? https://www.gotquestions.org/who-Chemosh.html
*** I realize the question of illegal immigration is a hot topic among modern Americans. I also realize a small percentage of illegal immigrants commit evil crimes. Yet to me, God's Word seems clear on the subject. If we consider illegal immigrants like runaway slaves, fleeing from the bondage of poverty, violence and oppression, consider God's instructions in that regard:
'If slaves should escape from their masters and take refuge with you, you must not hand them over to their masters. Let them live among you in any town they choose, and do not oppress them' (Deuteronomy 23:15-16, NLT).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.