Once Upon a Time…

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This time of year makes me want to hibernate with all the little woodland creatures.  I just want to curl up with book (I LOVE a good love story), peppermint tea, a fire in the fireplace, and not come out until the tulips are blooming.  Of course, I am responsible for a few not so little human creatures, so this really is not a viable option.  It doesn’t stop the wanting though!

I recently read Ruth.  What a lovely, little, and sometimes overlooked book in the Bible.  This girl, Ruth….she had such a beautiful and obedient heart!

I read it out of The Message and it starts out like a fairytale.  Once upon a time…

We see the story of two women who are left with nothing.  Both of their husbands are dead, and Naomi has lost her sons.   Ruth and Naomi are in a country where they are considered outsiders.  Naomi, because she is a Hebrew in Moab, and Ruth, because she is Moabite who married a Hebrew.  Plus, Ruth worships the God of her new family; that’s two strikes against her.  With nothing left for them in Moab, they decide to leave for the place Naomi, once called home; Bethlehem.

From the very beginning of the story we can see the character of Ruth.  She is a strong women who found her love in the heart of a Hebrew man.  It is because of this love, that she ultimately finds her one true love; the God of the Hebrews.

Ruth pledged to Naomi, at the start of their journey;

“Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live.  Your people are my people, your God IS my God; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God-not even death itself is going to come between us!”

Ruth 1:16-17 msg

There is nothing and no one who will stop her from serving Him.  To serve Him means loving Naomi.  To serve Him means dealing with grief.  It means putting up with poverty, hunger and of course, the bitterness of Naomi.  It really doesn’t sound like the fairytale we were led to believe it was.  Once upon a time… 

Ruth, is so resolute in her devotion! She lives among strangers, gleans wheat to feed herself and her mother-in-law, and ends up risking her reputation to secure a place for them with Boaz; a wealthy relative.  Boaz, a man who noticed Ruth while she was gleaning.  However, it was Ruth who pursued him.  Not the other way around.  Another wrench is thrown into our would be fairytale!

Ruth went to the threshing floor as Naomi asks; keep in mind, it was not the reputable women who slept at the feet of men on the threshing floor.  But Ruth knew the value of obedience.  And when Naomi asked she went.  When she fell asleep that night at the feet of Boaz, she knew her obedience was no gamble.  Once upon a time…

Ruth is definitely a love story.  A love story about a young girl who defies the cultural norms and follows her mother-in-law to a new place.  A  love story about Ruth’s resolution to be obedient, the resolve to wait, and a love that proved itself strong and faithful.  A girl who left her home with nothing but a beautifully faithful and obedient heart and ended up with a husband, son, and a home fully restored.  She even ended up with place in the line of David, and ultimately Jesus.

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Once upon a time…

 This week I am going to Choose Happy because Ruth is not a Once upon a time!  Her story is one that shows us how love and obedience go hand in hand.  Hers is a story of faithfulness and beauty.  A story that resonates the truth that when our worth is bound to the love of our One and True God, we can never be separated from Him.

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