WALKING AWAY FROM THE PAST
By Carolyn Dale Newell
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV
We all have history. Some good, some not-so-good, and some wretched. Sometimes it stirs up guilt and shame. And other times, we praise God for saving sinners as vile as we once were.
In Mathew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ, we find Ruth, the Moabite. By God’s providence, Ruth married into a godly family. Then her husband died.
Ruth was now a widow facing a life of destitute, along with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Her future appeared grim and bare. Three widow women alone in a foreign, wicked culture.
Naomi, the matriarch, decides to return to her home in Bethlehem. Loyal Ruth commits to follow her, but Orpha, the other daughter-in-law returns to her family and gods.
Ruth and Naomi walk away from Moab, leaving their former days behind in search for better things to come, without any real expectation that they would.
Friend, do you ever wish you could turn from your mess and walk away? That is the picture of repentance. Turning from sin and turning toward God. Leaving that life of wrath and disobedience in the dust.
That is exactly what Ruth did. They traveled to Naomi’s former home. Ruth took it upon herself to gather food for her and Naomi by gleaming in the harvest fields. God ordered her steps and led Ruth to the fields of Boaz. Ruth impressed Boaz with her work ethic and faithfulness to Naomi. He instructed his workers to purposefully leave extra grain behind for Ruth to gather.
When Ruth brought Naomi an abundance of grain, Naomi recognized the handiwork of God. She learned Ruth had labored in the fields of her close relative, Boaz.
As kin, Boaz could marry Ruth and raise up a child for her dead husband. Boaz was the kinsman redeemer, a picture of Jesus Christ.
Repentance and redemption are beautifully intertwined in this Old Testament love story. Boaz and Ruth marry and Ruth gives birth to Obed, the father of Jessie, the father of King David.
A once hopeless life was now full and joyful for both Naomi and Ruth. Jesus wanted to tell the world that Ruth was His ancestor. A foreigner with a bad background. The distance between your past and your future is the present. Today, you have the gift of a new day. How will you use it?
Lord Jesus, Thank You for forgiving our past lifestyles and cleansing us to walk as new creatures. Help us live in a manner which gives You glory. Amen.
Read the short book of Ruth.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Satan wants our history to haunt us, but God wants us to say, “Look what the Lord has done for me.” How will you do that today?
Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.