Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
Lessons From Ruth (Part 8)
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.
She said to her, 'All that you say I will do.'
Ruth 3:1-5 (NAS)
Only when Naomi told Ruth to go home did she disobey her mother-in-law. Yet at that moment, Ruth obeyed a higher calling. Thereafter, the young widow's obedience did not falter. Without question, the virtuous Moabitess followed Naomi--even in her most unusual order: to approach Boaz on the threshing floor.
Ruth didn't respond to Naomi with... What if? What if the other men saw her? What if they judged her immoral? What if they wanted to stone her? What if Boaz rejected her? What if.... What if...? Ruth neither argued nor second-guessed. Remarkably, she obeyed. Her result? Remarkable blessings.
Obedience is a central theme of the Bible. 'But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My Voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you' (Jeremiah 7:23). Our obedience is tied to our blessings.
Then Jesus came. He set us free from many things, but not obedience:
'If you keep My Commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s Commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full... You are My friends if you do whatever I command you' (John 15:10-14). Even now, our obedience is tied to our blessings.
On the other hand (not God's), religious obedience (obeying in word without action or obeying in form without heart) knocks you out of God's favor:
'But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46); 'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven' (Matthew 7:21).
In present-day America, obedience is an 'O' word: 'Oh really?' Disobedience is the rule of the day.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: don't let defiance be your rule. Be obedient to your parents and bosses. Most of all, be obedient to God. Rebuke disobedience like the demon it is.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Lessons From Ruth series. To read similar devotions, please see the Moral Relativity series.