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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|May 2006 (5766)||Vol. 32 No. 5|
THE BOOK OF RUTH
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo
RUTH 1: 18-22
We continue our studies in The Book of Ruth in chapter one about a Gentile woman, named Ruth, who fell in love with The God of Israel through the wonderful testimony of her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi.
We read in verse 18 that when Naomi saw that Ruth was determined and steadfast in her commitment to go with her, then she was silent and ceased speaking unto her in that matter, and that is, to go back to her people. Our commitment that we make with the God of Israel must be inward, made from the heart. It involves inviting Yshua, Gods Beloved Son, to be our personal Lord and Saviour. This also involves asking for forgiveness from Him from all of our sins. At the moment this transpires in our lives, we are born again by the Spirit of God and bound to spend eternity with our Lord. Our Salvation is a life time commitment to the God of Israel through Yshua (Jesus). Remember, death itself shall not separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35). May we also embrace the people of Israel and most important the God of Israel like the testimony given about Ruth, which was a life time commitment.
THE LORD HATH BROUGHT ME HOME were the words spoken of by Naomi. It is The God of Heaven and earth that is in charge of all things, which include our lives before Him. Wherever we go, our lives are in His hands until He brings us home to be with Him. They both had to be led by God out of Moab in order for The Lord to bring them into Israel. The Lord brought these two women together to bring them into Israel in unity, Spiritually, as well as physically, in order to bless them with a new life in the Land of Israel.
Lets look at our first thought THE COMING TOGETHER. Of whom is this speaking of? Of the mother-in-law, Naomi, which means (pleasant), and the daughter-in-law, Ruth, which means (friendship). If we put the meaning of these two names together it would read PLEASANT FRIENDSHIP. Indeed, this describes their relationship, even more so, since Ruth took The God of Israel, Naomis God, to be her God, as we read her testimony of faith in verse 16 ... Thy God, shall be my God.
Now, not only physically they were walking together to Bethlehem, but The Lord united them Spiritually. Now, they have come TOGETHER in unity. The Lord tells us that being united together in unity is very good according to His Word in Psalm 133:1 ...How good, and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Well, after many days and a weary journey at last they came to the city of David, which is Bethlehem (which means house of bread). Bethlehem is the birth place of our Messiah, Yshua (Jesus), who is referred to as The Bread of Life for all people. The time that the women arrived was during the time of harvest we find this in verse 22. It was the beginning of barley harvest which was the first of their harvests, called in the Hebrew language BIKKURIM which occurs three (3) days after Passover. Times, and events, are all in the hands of God. It was just the right time to arrive in Israel, for there would be plenty of food and plenty of work to do in the fields, not to mention that the poor and the strangers would be able to glean the fruits from the corners of the fields that would be left.
We arrived in Savannah 1996, in the heat of summer and the fields were white and it was not Minnesota snow, but spiritually the fields were white unto harvest. Everywhere there are souls that need to be saved, and Savannah is no exception. We have seen many Jewish and Gentile souls being brought into the Kingdom of God by grace through faith in Yshua Jesus our Lord in Savannah during these 10 years, and there are more to be reached for Christ.
THE COMING TOGETHER ... this was also in The Lords timing.
As Naomi and Ruth were coming into Israel, all of THE CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL, in verse 19, which is our next point, says ...IS THIS NAOMI? Their statement was in the form of a question, because they were surprised and moved. Remember, years had passed, and changes had occurred in Naomis life, as she was older, and had gone through allot of afflictions. These issues have a way of changing ones appearance, especially losing loved ones. She went from prosperity to being poor, Spiritually, emotionally, physically, and also, financially.
If we look into the life of Job, you and I probably would not have been able to recognize Job because of all the suffering, distress, persecution and grief that he went through. Naomi also had her share of sufferings and her people did not recognize her at first.
She responded with a cry, as we look into the next thought THE CONDITION TOLD. She cried out ...The Almighty (all powerful God of Israel) has dealt very bitterly with me. In other words, the bitterness of life has touched me. Therefore, she did not want to be called Naomi, which means pleasant, any longer, but she wanted them to relate to her in the position that she finds herself in, and that is that, her life had experienced the bitterness of life in losing all she had. The LORD Almighty has brought me home, but not full. I am a widow, up in age and with no children, a woman with a sorrowful spirit. It was an unpleasant condition that she was describing, therefore, she wanted them to call her MARA (which means bitter), because it described her condition better, the bitterness of life had touched her life.
Though MARA means bitter, I do not believe she was complaining to them, but telling forth her condition and situation. It is not told that her emptiness was because of her wrong dealings. Though Naomi was head of the family after her husband died, The Lord did not say that she had sinned, for her two sons were of age to be responsible for there own actions in marrying Moabitish women. And, we must remember that The Lord took their lives and not hers.
It is good to remember that she as a wife and mother, did feel the pain and hurt of life. She suffered, because of the decision that her sons had made. God was not directing, nor promoting the sons in marrying the Moabitish women, for Israel was not to marry into the nations. He (God) allowed it to happen for His purpose, not only for Naomi to come home to Israel, but for this Moabitish woman, named Ruth, spiritually to come to The God of Israel and serve Him.
The LORD God had His own plans in allowing the sorrows of death to happen. One reason, that our LORD allows our life to be empty like Naomis life, is, for Him to fill us, in the way that He desires for us to be full. The Lord wanted to bless these two women with His fullness. Much of our fullness of life or comforts comes from our earthly family and friends, but, it does not last, but what does last is our spiritually fullness, and it will be with us even throughout eternity. If you have never experienced Gods fullness, it is time to ask God to fill you with Himself, and that can only be done BY GRACE through FAITH in His beloved Son, Yshua Jesus. He is the fullness of life.
In conclusion: There is always going to be sorrows, sufferings, famine, in our lives until The Lord takes us home, which is the final blessing from God to us. Therefore, we must not CONTEND with The Almighty God when sorrow comes, but recognize that He is God and that He knows best, and to SUBMIT to Him. In other words, let Him do what seems to be good for us. Wait on The Lord, blessings will come, just like what we have read in this portion of Scripture, namely that The Lord visited the Land of Israel in verse 22 and wonderfully the land experienced the beauty of the Harvest. It is the beginning of the Barley Harvest and God is beginning to bless these two women in the land of Israel. When there is SUBMISSION UNTO OUR LORD, there will be GODS BLESSINGS THAT WILL FOLLOW. Wait on The Lord!
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