Friday, January 11, 2019

Taking Refuge

Today's Reading:
Ruth 1:1-4:22
Romans 3:9-31
Psalm 74:10-17
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Focus Verses: Ruth 2:10-12
10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?" 11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 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." 


In the Law of Moses, one of the provisions made for the poor was for landowners to leave grain unharvested along the edges and corners of their fields. If while harvesting they dropped some of the grain, they were to leave it there and just move on. This seeming inefficiency was actually a provision to those who had nothing. People who were suffering loss and poverty could go out and work to harvest what these God-honoring landowners had left in the fields.

Ruth was very thankful to Boaz for allowing her to glean in his fields. Boaz was a righteous man who followed both the spirit and the letter of the Mosaic Law. He described his kindness to her as something God was doing for her. He blessed her for the selfless and righteous care she had given her mother-in-law, and explained that as she worked in his field, she was actually being "rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel" and finding "refuge under His wings."

Response and Action:
Like Boaz, I want my attitude, conduct, and kindness to be the result of my reverence and love for God. I want to be an instrument of God's grace and mercy to those who are in need. If I truly know, love, and worship God, my life should be an extension of his care and goodness to the world around me. If people ask me why I am being good to them, I should be sure to give God glory and explain my actions as a blessing from God.

O God, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury pardon; where there is discord, unity; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light. I have come to you thirsty, and you have satisfied me with your living water. May streams of living water flow out of me as a blessing to those around me who thirst for your care, your truth, and your grace. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 John 3:17-18
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions
by Craig Blomberg

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