What a beautiful story! Ruth, a Moabite, becomes the great-grandmother of David – and the ancestor of Jesus.
So what are the characteristics of someone who is so exceedingly blessed by God?
First of all, she is faithful. When her widowed mother-in-law plans to return to Israel, Ruth and her sister-in-law have the opportunity to stay in their own country. Orpah stays, but Ruth is faithful. She sticks by her mother-in-law’s side and takes care of her.
When announcing her decision to go with Naomi, Ruth makes it clear that she is also being faithful to God. “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”(1:16). Just conjecture here, but I think that she had observed Naomi’s interaction with God and she wanted to have the same. She believes that the God of Israel is the true God.
Ruth is also humble. When she gets to Bethlehem, Ruth doesn’t mind gleaning the fields with the poor. Immediately she goes to work to bring in food for herself and Naomi.
Then, too, Ruth is a go-getter. When she sees the opportunity to marry Boaz, Ruth goes for it, and she gets her man.
So this poor girl from Moab, widowed at an early age, remains faithful to God and He blesses her beyond measure. Not only does she marry a rich man, but her son is Obed, the grandfather of David.
As Boaz says, “May the Lord reward your work and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
And He does!
Luke 8: 1-25
We hear the parable of the sower once again – and I think that we can’t hear it too much! In a nutshell, this parable is the most accurate at showing us where we are in our faith, and what we need to do to improve it.
Minds are funny things. We can be thinking about something and not even know it. Have you ever been driving or performing another routine task and suddenly realize that you have been thinking about something that happened long ago or something a person said to you?
Thoughts of anxiety, frustration, doubt, or fear can flood your mind without you even being aware of it. Then when you become aware of what you’re thinking, you may feel frustrated or worried or fearful. Do you know what I mean?
If we are going to live God’s best, we absolutely have to control our thought life. Otherwise, one of the devil’s imps will sit on our shoulder and make sure that we never have faith for anything God wants for us.
II Corinthians 10: says “we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
When a thought comes up which says that there is no hope for us, cast it down. When a thought comes up which says we will not get healed, cast it down. When a thought comes up which says that our children will never turn around and live productive lives, cast it down.
Those thoughts are not from God, who is the giver of all good things. We must cast down the negative thoughts and replace them with God’s Word, which promises us healing, deliverance, and hope for our families.
Luke’s account of this “sower” parable adds a tweak. “And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”(v.15)
It takes perseverance. Seed takes time to grow and produce; it doesn’t happen over night. So the Words of God have to be held tightly within our hearts in order to produce the results.
Hold onto the Word. Cast down contrary thoughts. Be patient and persistent.
If you do these things, you will see the fruit spring forth.