Naomi, Ruth and Boaz

ruth-and-boaz

We may know Ruth and Boaz love story being told in the book of Ruth (that’s what I know). But when we studied the book for our Victory group, when we dive into details, I understand how Naomi, Ruth and Boaz play a significant role in the fulfillment of the gospel. What can we learn from Naomi, Ruth and Boaz?

Naomi. She left Judah and went to Moab together with her husband and two sons, but unfortunately, her family died and she was left with her in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. Orpah choose to go back to her parents while Ruth stays with her. Naomi admits and repents that she sinned against God, and she accepts the consequences of her sin and she thought that the Lord afflicted her. Naomi said in Ruth 1:20-21 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” But the Lord, is a gracious God, He forgives Naomi and eventually restore what she lost through Ruth. In the end, Naomi had a grandson Obed whom the root of King David and Jesus came from. Who would have thought that after almost losing everything, the Lord still blessed Naomi with a daughter like Ruth who stays with her until the end. Ruth 4:14-16 “The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Naomi admits her mistake, surrendered to God and she accept God’s gift of restoration. What if she didn’t?

Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite, as a Moabite she don’t believe in the Lord, they worship idols. But in Ruth 1:16 says “But Ruth replied, “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.” I believe Ruth has a divine encounter with God, that despite of bad things happened to Naomi, Ruth start believing Naomi’s God, she loves Naomi and stays with her. She demonstrates a love that perseveres, obeys, honors and endures. Ruth persevere, she works in the field to pick-up left over grain behind harvesters. The Lord sees this perseverance from Ruth, so she received favor from the Lord through Boaz. She was allowed to pick-up grain, invited for lunch or dinner perhaps, and invited her to glean together with Boaz women harvesters. Boaz knew the kindness of Ruth to her mother-in-law, that’s why she found favor in his eyes, and it’s a long story of Ruth obedience and honor, until Boaz marry Ruth and they have a son. Ruth patiently waits. Ruth doesn’t go ahead of God. God will give us what we need, when we obey. We don’t have to hurry; we have to wait for Him in obedience. God gives us what we need when we need it, and He knows better if we really need it, when we need it. We just have to do what God has told us to do; we don’t have to rush, because everything will fall into place. The more we do things our way, the harder it is for God to work in our lives. What it Ruth doesn’t encounter God and don’t stay with Naomi?

Boaz. Boaz is a man of honor. He is a leader, provider and protector. He has a godly leadership, his people respect him, though he is a kinsman, he remains humble and generous. He is also a good provider and protector, in Ruth 2:8-9 says So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” This 3 character: leader, provider and protector every Christian man should desire, and every Christian woman must consider as non-negotiable in considering potential mate. What if Boaz didn’t honor Ruth, what if he didn’t lead, provide and protect Ruth since he saw her for the first time?

This entire event in the life of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz is orchestrated by God for a greater purpose, far greater than themselves, for the benefit of others. Naomi’s life was restored, Ruth encountered the Lord and she chose to worship and obey the Lord, while Boaz remains single until he found Ruth, and he offered marriage to Ruth. This marriage bears a son, where the lineage of the Son- , Jesus Christ who saves the world came from. In Matthew 1:5 “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of King David.”

All the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good. God is with us and for us in these strange turns. – Sweet Bitter Providence, John Piper

Photo credit: www.whitebrickhouse.wordpress.com

God Has a Plan for Your Life

Queen Esther is one of my favorite women in the Bible. From reading the book, I just can’t imagine how fair and beautiful she is. Plus all the spa treatments, oil and perfume given to her, ahh beautiful! No doubt, King Xerxes choses her and fall in love with her. Not just because she’s lovely but her character stands out among all the ladies presented to the King.

I’m also amazed of God’s plan for Esther. Though she grew up without a parent, God bless her with a godly man (her cousin) Mordecai who guide her growing up. From an ordinary orphan Jewish girl to a Queen! Can you see how God plans our life? It’s always bigger, greater than what can we think for ourselves… “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

What God has in store for us in the future will always be bigger of what we knew is best for us, God has always something better that we don’t know. As Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Because what we plan for ourselves will always have limitations based on what we are now, what we accomplished so far and possibly how we see ourselves in the future, it’s always limited and sometimes selfish. But God, will always have bigger plans, bigger than ourselves. He is unlimited God, He is sovereign, He is able, He can do everything, there’s nothing impossible with Him, and the good news is, He is also a loving Father, He loves us “big time” that He wants only the best for His children, only the best life ahead for each of us! A life that brings glory and honor to Him.

God made Esther to be a queen, not just to enjoy the benefits of being a queen. This is not how the story ends… We see how God used Esther, to save the Jews from the evil plan of Haman to kill all the Jews. Why? Because the Savior would be born in Betlehem from a Jewish family, the Savior who will save the world and His name is Jesus. Esther’s obedience and selflessness plays a vital role in God’s plan for salvation to mankind. Gods plan for Esther is more than to satisfy her desires and dreams, it is bigger than her, it is salvation for everyone, and everything is plotted for His glory! So are you excited to embrace God’s plan in your life? Obey like a queen!

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“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
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The Ultimate Source of Wisdom

If you are into financial management i guess you already read one of the books of financial coaches – Dave Ramsey, Warren Buffet, Robert Kiyosaki. Yeah, they give practical advise on savings and investment. But I agree with financial  guru Randell Tiongson that more than the wisdom we can get from self-help books we can great source of wisdom from the Bible.   The author of broken mindset shared a blog where does financial gurus get wisdom.  http://www.brokenmindset.org/where-does-financial-gurus-get-wisdom/

Randell Tiongson’s Bible verses that affect our daily lives:

On work – “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” (Proverbs 10:4, NIV); “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (Provebs 6:6, NIV)

On handling money & integrity – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10, NIV)

On debt – “Owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligations to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.” (Romans 13:8, NLT)

On lifestyle – “Some who are poor pretend to be rich; Others who are rich pretend to be poor.” (Proverbs 13:7, NLT)

On productivity – “Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another – or maybe both.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6, NLT)

On investing – “But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:2, NLT).

On generosity – “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:24-25, NLT)”

 And here’s what I’m believing God for…

On work – “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.”  Colossians 3:23

On handling money & integrity – “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” 1 Corinthians 4:2

On productivity – “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised“. (Hebrews 10:36).

On saving & investing  – “Four things on earth are small,   yet they are extremely wise:  Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;” (Proverbs 30: 24-25)

On keep doing  “Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed“. (Psalm 119:116)

On generosity “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

On living avsimple lifestyle “One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has
great wealth.”  Proverbs 13:7

On Debt “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”  Proverbs 22:7