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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are You In Love With Her Yet?

In the latter half of the third chapter of Ruth we see Ruth's shining character come through again.  We will also see her right attitude toward companionship.  And if that isn't enough to chew on for the day, we also have a little twist, or hiccup, in this love story.  After all, we have been sailing along quite nicely until this point.  Let's see what happens next.

 Read Ruth 3:11

Here we see that Ruth has asked Boaz to spread his cloak over her.  In essence she has proposed and is eagerly awaiting his response.  She has laid it all on the line and put herself in a very vulnerable position.  At this point she really doesn't want to hear that he just wants to be friends.  Take a close look at Boaz's response - I love it.  His first words to her are, "don't be afraid."  I think he could sense her fear and realized the sheer courage it took for her to meet him on the threshing floor.  His love for her was evident in his words.  And then, AND THEN, he states the words that every woman wants to hear -"I will do for you all you ask."  What a guy!  :0)  And no sooner than those words were out of his mouth then he compliments her again stating, "All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character."

 Have you ever known someone of irritating perfection?  Someone who seems to have it all together and makes you feel like a complete toad?  I am fortunate to have so many great women friends, and not one of them makes me feel 'toadish'.  Yes, that really is a word :0)  I gain a different inspiration from each and every one.  From Corie I am inspired to pursue God with all my heart.  From Shanna I am inspired to be a more purposeful, organized mother.  From Kim I have learned to let things go and laugh.  From Laura I learned how refreshing honesty in the everyday things is - how rare is that??  Lorna inspires me to exercise and eat healthy.   From my mom and my mother-in-law I gain perspective.  I have so much to learn from all the women in my life.  Instead of letting that one 'super mom' intimidate and annoy you, try looking deep in to her character.  You just might find that what she excels in is where you lack.  Instead of letting her irritate you, allow her to inspire you.  I know it sounds challenging but give it a shot.  What do you have to lose?

I love that Ruth's character precedes her coming to the threshing floor.  People were talking and it was good!!  She choose to let hesed {kindness}, light her way.  She wasn't known for who she aligned herself with, her status or job didn't gain her attention, her kindness was all it took.  Are you in love with her yet?   If not, let me throw in this perspective.  She met Boaz on the threshing floor at night.  After he'd had a drink or two.  She was vulnerable.  Do you see the recipe for a potential disaster here?  Instead of going down a road of inappropriateness, they choose the path with more integrity.  They were both available, but careful.  She was responsive, but pure.  They were interested, but patient.  Hmmm... that warrants some contemplating, does it not?   It never fails, doing the right thing is never the easy thing, but oh, the payoffs!

 Ok- -thanks for letting me go down that path.  Take a look at verse 12.  Here comes the twist.  We see that there exists a nearer kinsman redeemer than Boaz.  Someone closer in relativity than Boaz comes into the picture and might very well redeem Ruth.

  Verse 13 says that Boaz essentially told Ruth to sleep on it and they'll see what happens with the other potential redeemer in the morning.  Sleep on it?  Really?  Do you think Ruth got even one wink of sleep that night?   I doubt it.  Again we see that she was waiting.

 Before Ruth leaves in the morning, Boaz loads her up with barley to take home.  It is difficult, at best, to know exactly how much grain he gave but scholars estimate between 50-100 pounds of grain was given.  Most presumably not for Ruth alone, but Naomi as well.  Ruth hauled all that grain to Naomi's house on her back.  I just have to stop and wonder: was this a heavy burden because she as of yet had no answer to her proposal or was her weight light as a feather knowing that Boaz intended to redeem her if at all possible?

I don't know about you, but there are days when I feel just spent, out of resources, and bone-tired.  Some days I feel that way about my mothering.  I have one who is in a particularly difficult phase and by day's end I can hardly wait to tuck in that sweet head and turn out the light.  Other days it seems as though we are going backward in our attempts to move forward in developing this business and I just want to throw in the towel.  I have moments when I wish that supplying all my needs was as easy as hauling a bag of grain around.  Just open it up, take my fill and move on through my day.  Unfortunately, most of my needs are not so concrete.  I need patience, tenderness, sensitivity, endurance and a good measure of faith.  All of those things can only come from Him.  I must bow low and draw deep from The Well of Living Water.  I need to draw from Him, to in turn pour out on others.  Just as Boaz supplied all Ruth's needs, Christ supplies mine.  All I need to do is ask.

Go ahead and finish reading the third chapter in its entirety.  We will pick up at the beginning of chapter four in the next day or so.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am and I so hope you are blessed.


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