[CF Devotionals] 2008-06-08 - Fateful Decisions

Installment 9 ~ Chapter 1, Part 4

Most of us have probably made pragmatic decisions at one point or another. Hopefully they haven't led us to move to Moab, or to face the serious consequences that Naomi was living with.

Can you identify any pragmatic decisions you have seen or made? If so, what resulted from them? I have seen people destroy marriages and damage children, because they where unwilling to be obedient to God. Their choices, as they perceived them, were either to remain in a painful situation or get else out of the marriage. They were unwilling to consider the truth that neither was an acceptable choice, and that God was in control and could make the changes for them. The result was the loss of blessings, and always, the suffering of children. As Jackman notes:

"In any congregation today, many people will identify only too readily with Namoi's experience. Some will have gone through similar traumatic times of bereavement. Others will have made life decisions they now feel very bitter about—-the job move that led to being laid off, the marriage that broke up almost from the beginning, the disappointment of children who have overthrown their parents' faith and are sowing wild oats. "Where did I go wrong?" is very often followed by "why did God let this happen to me?"" [1]

But I have seen something else, as well. In fact, it is one of the real messages of Ruth. God is loving and merciful. He can take the failures of His children and turn them into blessings. He works in our life, even when we don't see it. And even when we have gone to Moab, we can always turn around and return to Judah. The story of Ruth is the story of God working sometimes in spite of us, and sometimes through us. Neither Ruth nor Naomi knew what was coming, but God did. Zlotowitz notes:

"Naomi had many times asked herself by what merit she had survived. Had she not sinned as much as they? ...Perhaps her sin was a greater one, and therefore her punishment, too, was greater ... It was she - of the whole family - who was left, desolate, to bear the burden of sorrow of the entire family. ...

Naomi could not possibly have known, much less have dared to believe at the time, that she had been preserved through the kindness and compassion of Hashem, who had allowed the spark of life of Elimelech's family to remain glowing in her ... leading to the birth of King David." [2]

To which I would add ... and the coming of the Messiah!

  1. Jackman, David, The Communicator's Commentary, Vol. 7, "Judges, Ruth," Word Books, Dallas, TX, 1997, p. 318.

Comments or Questions?
Geoff

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