Ponder and Pray

[ 0 ] December 21, 2009 |

Poignant statement: God does not call us for cheap discipleship. The Lord blesses those who are willing to walk and obey God no matter what the situation.


Subject: A lady of sacrifice

Scripture: The Book of Ruth
As I was reading the Book of Ruth I suddenly and freshly realized some wonderful truths that I want to share with you. I think as we celebrate Christmas we must realize some facts about Ruth and also the precious lessons we can learn from this dear woman of yore who is one of the ancestors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word Ruth means ‘companion’. Ruth was a simple Moabite woman. The Moabites and Israelites were bitter and traditional enemies for generations. Her faith and her way of life were different. She had married Mahlon, the son of Elimelech and Naomi. After ten years of childless marriage her husband dies. Even the husband of Naomi and Noami’s another son also dies leaving three widows to fend for themselves in those harsh and unfriendly society and environment.

After sometime three widows leave Moab and go to Bethlehem because Naomi came to know that God has been blessing the people there. Along the way she urges her two widowed daughter in laws to go back to their people and not face the terrible poverty. She had nothing to offer them except poverty and bleak future. One of the daughters in law kisses her and returns to her home but Ruth clings to her mother in law. She says, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me” This Christmas season let us realize that our discipleship is to be counted more at the time when our Lord seem to have nothing to offer to us except the blessing and presence of God.

At times in the fever of trying to get as many people as possible to believe in the Lord Jesus, we make the mistake of diluting the message of the Gospel and this is seen more during the Christmas season. It is true that the story of Christmas is really pretty and beautiful to read but those who look closely will see that it is a message of indictment of mankind and the message of the call to make the maximum and ultimate sacrifice. Mary is today venerated as the most blessed of women but when she agreed to be the mother of Jesus a sword had pierced her heart. She laid her honor at the feet of God in order to have the Son of God among us.

She was obedient to her mother in law and did whatever she told Ruth. So it seems the statement to cling to her mother in law was not an emotional outburst but carefully thought deliberate decision. Oh, how we make promises to God but when we are tested we just pretend as if we have never said anything to that effect.

When I think of her as a woman she comes out as a woman of calm and dignity. Whenever she talked with Boaz, her future husband you see her not manipulating or seeking pity as a widow but as a calm and confident woman. Even in her desperate poverty she we see her exuding self respect.

When Boaz saw in her these wonderful qualities he was really impressed with her and showered all the material blessing. We do not know if she was a beautiful woman or not, as the Bible never tells us but Boaz could see the sacrifice she had made in clinging on to her mother in law. He says that he knows the sacrifice she has made and tells her that she will be richly rewarded by God. He said to her “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” What a beautiful thought provoking statement of Boaz. It is quite possible that Naomi and the family had told her about the God of Israel while in Moabite and she had understood that people of God may go through great pressure yet the Lord will never abandon them. She had become a believer of the God of Israel when or even before she made the promise to mother in law.
Most of us do not realize that even though she came from the families of idol worshippers and in some ways enemies of the people of Israel but unknown to her God was planning something wonderful and she became the ancestor of the King David and the Lord Jesus Christ. In genealogy of Mathew she is quoted as one of the three lady ancestors of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is no one’s debtor and He rewards His people beyond their wildest imagination. Ruth later became the wife of one the honorable and richest man of Bethany.

This Christmas I am not saying we should not enjoy but let us also be reflective and ask God to keep us faithful to him and cling to him at all cost. Let us have the Spirit of Ruth and the Lord will be with us and bless as and how He wants to bless us.
Poignant statement: God does not call us for cheap discipleship. The Lord blesses those who are willing to walk and obey God no matter what the situation.


Prayer: Lord, this Christmas season thank you for those who gave up all and expected nothing from their giving. You blessed them in most unexpected ways and you continue to do this even today.

Republished in new layout on 8/19/2013

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Category: Devotion