What struck me about the book of Ruth as I read it this time, is that everything was hinged on the one decision. Ruth finds her people, her GOD and she finds her guardian redeemer in Boaz because of her sticking to it.
I love that her inheritance was truly immeasurable. In Ruth 4:11 the elders and all the people at the gate said “May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home (Ruth) like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah (the ancient name for Bethlehem) and be famous in Bethlehem.” This is followed up by a list of names in the genealogy – often, I have to admit, a section that I would skim read. But here we read of Obed, son of Boaz and Ruth who in turn became the father of Jesse who was then the father of David … the David who fought the giant, delivered the people from their enemies, became king, ruled the nation, planned the temple, had a heart for GOD … the descendant of Jesus. Ruth became a mother who through the generations led to the birth of David and then Jesus, who were both, indeed, famous in Bethlehem.
Her one choice affected one world through the birth of one incredibly special child just over 2000 years ago.
But what if Ruth hadn’t made that choice? What would have happened if she had gone back?? I know that she must have come up against doubts and opposition. I wonder if she, like me had a nagging voice or an internal dialog. I guess, if it is anything like the one I hear, that it told her that she should not follow her heart, but instead settle for comfortable and familiar in Moab. She would have heard that voice telling her that she would never make a difference to Naomi and that her efforts were wasted in the field. She might even have heard that there were so many other women who were much better than her and that Boaz should have picked them instead. BUT she was called to have an immeasurable inheritance, that was her destiny – she didn’t turn back.
Over the past few weeks I have been reminded of the fact that the enemy hates us walking into our destiny. He really hates it. He is scared by what I … and you, have been called to. He wants to prevent us from stepping into it and being whom GOD calls us – HIS. The enemy will use tactics to tear us away from the truth that we share in this immeasurable inheritance. The enemy will not be gentle or kind, he will not measure what you can bear, he will not consider your feelings or emotions, he will not care about your family or livelihood, he is not considerate or compassionate. He hates you and all that you stand for … he wants you to die. WHY? Because you, potentially, remind him that he is defeated and that you can play a part in the rescue of others from his grip. He does not want you to impact lives, either your own, your family, your friends and neighbours, your colleagues … or any one that you happen to meet. He will tell you that you are useless, insecure and invisible. He will parade others in front of you to lock you in a cycle of comparison and jealousy. He will reduce you to believing that there is no escape from sin by heaping shame and condemnation on you. He will remind you of your past and your failures to distract you from your future. He will shake your worth by others hurtful words. He will even convince you that being a good person is the thing thing that will save you, making you bound to religion. He is a liar and cannot be trusted.
If you are facing enemy opposition it is most likely a big, bold signpost saying you are going in the right direction. After all, the enemy does not need to make a lost person lost, but wants to misguide those that are heading in the right direction. Now is the time to look out for the signposts …
We can learn from Ruth. Her decision to begin her life accounted for her immeasurable inheritance. She chose GOD. She didn’t just think it was a good idea, but she left her old life behind and walked into her destiny. There is a reason why Jesus said to ‘follow me’. Jesus didn’t just want a one off response but a decision to follow him, to walk with him where he led, to talk with him, spend time with him, to know him … to have relationship with him. Following is a day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute choice.
My prayer for myself is that I know the loudness of GOD’s voice calling out to me to keep following Him into my immeasurable inheritance. That the truth of knowing that I am HIS be the emphasis that informs my internal dialog and that it will drown out the lying schemes of the enemy. That relationship with GOD will be the highest calling of my life. That when I come up against enemy opposition I will be encouraged that I am heading in the right direction and not turn back. And that what I offer in terms of my tiny dandelion seed will be something immeasurable when GOD causes it to land and grow. Will you pray it for yourself too?