(June 19, 2020)
From Matthew 1:5
“…Boaz the father of Boaz, whose mother was Ruth…”
Deuteronomy 23:6: “Do not seek a treaty of friendship with [the Ammonites or the Moabites] as long as you live.”
Yet, we have seen time and again that not only does “Ruth” mean “friend;” but also that Ruth was a friend. She left home and family when Orpah did not. We saw the companionship between Ruth and Naomi in 1:19. Others noticed it too, like Boaz in 2:11. So what gives?
To be clear, I am not saying that a command in Deuteronomy is violated or that scripture contradicts itself by quoting 23:6 above; what I am pointing out is that the Gospel turns life upside down. It is constantly putting the first last and the last first. It blesses the meek not the strong. It finds strength through weakness. It says the greatest one of all is the one who serves.
So how does the Moabite with whom we should not be friends become such a dear friend? Because in Ruth’s life, God showed us that redemption comes through sacrificial and serving love. That is the context in which Jesus calls us friends (John 15:13). That is how Ruth treated Naomi. Ruth did it all out of love for the Father. And that is the kind of life is what we see in Jesus.
Today, may our prayer be not if we are “keeping all the rules” or if we are “accomplishing a lot for God;” may our prayer simply be: May my life reflect what God is doing in Jesus Christ.
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Whether we look back on Ruth’s life, or anyone else’s – such as during a funeral – we don’t really want to know what someone achieved. We want to know who they were. And we want to know how our friendship with them showed Jesus to the world. That is the goal.
Ruth left a powerful witness. …What will be said when you are gone?
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Father, remove any distraction from my life that would keep me from being focused on You. Use my life to help show Jesus to the world, for it is in His Name that we ask. Amen.