Thursday, April 5, 2012
Welcome to Day 95 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Ruth chapters 1 and 2 outlines Elimelech and Naomi’s Ruin in Moab (1:1–5), Naomi and Ruth’s Return to Bethlehem (1:6–22) and the account of when Boaz Receives Ruth in His Field (2:1–23).
In this chapter we have Naomi’s afflictions. 1. As a distressed housekeeper, forced by famine to remove into the land of Moab, Ruth 1:1, 2. 2. As a mournful widow and mother, bewailing the death of her husband and her two sons, Ruth 1:3-5. 3. As a careful mother-in-law, desirous to be kind to her two daughters, but at a loss how to be so when she returns to her own country, Ruth 1:6-13. Orpah she parts with in sorrow, Ruth 1:14. Ruth she takes with her in fear, Ruth 1:15-18. 4. As a poor woman sent back to the place of her first settlement, to be supported by the kindness of her friends, Ruth 1:19-22. All these things were melancholy and seemed against her, and yet all were working for good. (Matthew Henry Commentary.)
Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of Christ! Matthew 1:5 (Keep in mind, she is a Moabite, a gentile!)
While studying up on Ruth, I found this theological overview of themes in Ruth that I thought you might appreciate. Gives me a different vantage point as I am reading… a different lens to look through.
At least seven major theological themes emerge in Ruth. First, Ruth the Moabitess illustrates that God’s redemptive plan extended beyond the Jews to Gentiles (2:12). Second, Ruth demonstrates that women are co-heirs with men of God’s salvation grace (cf. 1 Peter 3:7). Third, Ruth portrays the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10 (cf. 3:11). Fourth, Ruth describes God’s sovereign (1:6; 4:13) and providential care (2:3) of seemingly unimportant people at apparently insignificant times which later prove to be monumentally crucial to accomplishing God’s will. Fifth, Ruth along with Tamar (Gen. 38), Rahab (Josh. 2) and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11–12) stand in the genealogy of the Messianic line (4:17, 22; cf. Matthew 1:5). Sixth, Boaz, as a type of Christ, becomes Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer (4:1–12). Finally, David’s right (and thus Christ’s right) to the throne of Israel is traced back to Judah (4:18–22; cf. Genesis 49:8–12). (John Macarthur)
Here’s a link to the overview of Ruth: Click HERE.
(I wonder why they didn’t just have us read the entire book of Ruth today since it’s only four chapters…)
Psalm 53 laments the condition of humanity, while hoping in the salvation of the Lord! v 3 “Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” v 6 “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores his people…”
Psalm 61 follows the pattern of many of the psalms… Sadness of heart, prayers and tears, but ends in praise to our God! v 7b-8a “Appoint your love and faithfulness to protect [me]. 8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name!”
2 Corinthians 5:14 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”
I think I’ll focus on Ruth tomorrow… but for today, what hit me was out of 2 Corinthians, “Christ’s love compels us…”
Been thinking about what “compels” me…
Why do I do what I do?
Is it for money? Well, no… although I am a pastor and it’s my full-time job. But I did it for several years, doing most of my major responsibilities as a volunteer.
Do I do it for recognition? No… although I do get more than my share of recognition and strokes, for sure.
Do I do it for “position?” No… I try to practice servant leadership, so my job is to serve, not for others to serve me.
What compels me?
Changed lives. Knowing that a person’s life has changed because of something I said or prayed, because God touched them in a significant way during a song or an outreach is what puts wind in my sails. Seeing someone using their God-given gifts… them being used by God, finding their passion or their purpose in life is what turns the crank of my heart.
Is it because, as Paul said, “Christ’s love compels me?” I think Christ’s love is like the engine, his Spirit is the fuel and seeing the fruit is the bi-product… the exhaust, if you will.
For me, there is a fine line between work and play. They say, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.”
I have found that to be true.
Thank you Lord for your love… Thank you that it’s your kindness that leads a person to repentance!