Posts Tagged ‘Naomi’

Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.” Ruth 3:3-5

Ask any mature Christian and they will rightly tell you that the book of Ruth, in addition to being an accurate account of a historical event, is a dramatic illustration of Christ’s redemptive work for His bride, the church. Ruth is of course a picture of the church and Boaz a picture of Jesus Christ – our Ga’al, or kinsmen redeemer. However, the spiritual similes do not stop there; each sentence of this glorious book provides application for the Christian towards the spirit-filled life found in Christ Jesus. Ruth 3:3-5 is in actuality a formula teaching us how to be in a position to receive from the Lord.. These are not legalistic steps that require completing, but rather a blueprint that should be embraced because the benefits outweigh the effort.

Wash Yourself

These words simply remind us that we should be in God’s word continually; every day if possible. It is both a reasonable and intelligent choice. We bathe daily if we are able; nobody has to make us do it–we want to. So should it be with our scripture reading. Come to realize the cleansing effect His word has as it washes over you. Becoming clean should never be seen as a chore, but a luxury we get to partake in. Do you see reading the Bible as the magnificent treat that it is?

He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word Ephesians 5:26

Anoint Yourself

Oil in the Bible speaks to the Holy Spirit. Have you prayed to receive the Holy Spirit for the purpose of empowerment; to be a witness for Jesus Christ? If you have not, you might be born-again, but you are not powered-up for service. Do you pray frequently to be re-filled with this anointing? If you don’t you’re like a fine automobile with an empty tank and a dead battery. When we’re told to anoint ourselves, it really means to pray to receive the blessings we need to function as Christians. If we have not it is because we asked not.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Luke 11:13

Put on Your Best

Ruth and Naomi came back to Bethlehem in their mourning clothes, but Naomi wisely realized it was time for a change. By God’s grace and mercy we have been saved, therefore what kind of testimony is it when we bemoan our past by outwardly appearing as we once were. Are we not new creations in Christ? We most certainly are and our countenance should always reflect that fact. Our attire, metaphorically speaking should be garments of praise and not pity.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness Psalms 30:11

Go Down to the Threshing Floor

This part is huge. The threshing floor is a place of separation and refinement, and willingly going there speaks to both submission and sacrifice. This is not something that someone else can do for us. There is a price to be paid by every believer and the cost is reflected in our desire to submit ourselves to the sanctification process. Sadly, this is the place where many a Christian turn away. What we need to realize is that the threshing floor is where we get to shine for Jesus and where He tweaks us in order that we might perform our best.

Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Samuel 24:24

Do Not Make Yourself Known

We’re talking humility here folks. There is no place for pride before the Throne of God. The reality is that the Bible teaches that self-importance always comes before destruction and must be shunned. The suggestion therefore would be that when we change our garments, we all leave pride in the pocket.

Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of the great; For it is better that he say to you, “Come up here,” Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. Proverbs 25:6-7

Notice the Place Where He Lies

To me this speaks to Holy Communion; the act of remembering our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Personally, I choose to remember His sacrifice and resurrection each time I eat a meal in addition to at church where we partake of the elements corporately. Whenever we go to see where He lies we cannot help but notice He is not there! For the Christian we notice for the purpose of sharing. “He is risen,” should not be something we keep to ourselves.

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:6-7

Go in

Have you ever heard it said that Christianity is not about a religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ? Well the truth be told, it is both. Jesus desires nothing more than an intimate relationship with His brothers and sisters. God has given us the religious components of our faith that enable us to go deeper with the One who gave His life to make this possible. The elements of our religion don’t save us, they just aid us in knowing Jesus better.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

Uncover His Feet and Lie Down

These words bring me back to the cross. As we uncover the feet of our Savior, the thing that will be most evident is the piercing place. Even as I write these words it is a sobering vision that leads me to worship. Because it is to easy for us to be consumed by the events of the day, we need to often reexamine the scars of His sacrifice. From this place we can both worship and listen.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Luke 10:38-39

He Will Tell You What You Should Do

“I don’t hear God speaking to me,” is a commonly heard amongst Christians. The managing of that affliction has not changed and is recorded throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. If we regularly wash ourselves in the Word, we will better recognize His voice. If we ask and receive His Holy Spirit, we will comprehend what He is saying. If we come rejoicing rather than mourning, we won’t obscure the outpouring of His love. If we come humbly, we won’t stumble. If we submit to the process of sanctification, we will be changed. Our Lord said His yoke is easy and His burden is light, the question for us is do we believe Him.

All that you say to me I will do. Ruth 3:5

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Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. Ruth 1:1

If God is your King, then the notion of leaving the safe haven He provides for another location should seem ridiculous to you. Sadly, this is precisely what Elimelech does in this opening passage from the Book of Ruth. Elimelech is Naomi’s husband and his name just happens to mean ‘My God is King.’. What makes this ugly situation even worse is that in his search for a worldly solution to a physical problem, he opts for the worst possible place imaginable and as a result becomes the picture of the prodigal son who never makes it home.

Moab is My washpot Psalms 108:9

Does it really matter why Moab is so bad? Not really, but I found it interesting to recall that the Moabitish people are the result of a drunken, incestuous relationship between Lot and his eldest daughter, after fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:31-38). Lot’s son was named Moab and the Moabites are his direct descendants. Scripture goes on to tell us that they worshipped many false gods, that they were prideful, reproachful, arrogant and would ultimately suffer the same fate as Sodom (Zephaniah 2:9-11). Obviously, Elimelech should have known better and was not in touch with the Lord when he made this dreadful decision.

A Better Choice

The truth of the matter is that life in Bethlehem for Elimelech was not that bad. We know this to be true because Naomi would later in this same chapter bitterly lament, “I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty,” acknowledging that life with God as King was satiating and life without Him was hollow. It’s true. What the world offers is temporary at best and if you show me a Christian who doesn’t recognize this, I’ll show you a person who is headed for ruin.

I’m not minimizing famine; it’s a big deal. But while the difficulty seemed colossal, the reality was that the solution was only eighteen inches away; the average distance between a man’s knees and the floor. Do you believe that God is bigger than the problems we face? Then also believe that His remedy to these problems has not changed through the centuries.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

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