One week behind us! This week we start with Proverbs 31:10 ‘Her price is much higher than jewels.’ This is where my obsession with Ruth began. When you look at the correlation between her and the Proverbs 31 woman, it is quite amazing. Ruth came from the lineage of Moab. The Moabite lineage didn’t have the best of reputations. Moab was one of the sons of Lot out of the incestuous relationship that happened in Genesis 19:30-36. This was after the annihilation of Sodom and his wife had been turned to a pillar of salt. He took his two daughters to live in a cave in the mountains. And the rest is somewhat uncomfortable to talk about so just go ahead and read what happened for yourself. This is very similar to what my face looked like when I first read that story…
The Moabites were also considered constant thorns in Israel’s side. In Numbers 22 & 23 we see where Balak hired Balaam to ‘curse Jacob’ and ‘denounce Israel’. Then we can move to Judges 3:12-30 where the Moabites oppressed the Israelites. And yet again in Samuel the Moabites take the opportunity of civil war between Judah and Israel to revolt against Israel. Their history of going against Israel continues throughout the Old Testament. This hits a little close to home… not the whole incest part but the rebellion against God or the Israelites in my history. I can look back and see so many parts where I have rebelled against God or been a thorn in the side of my Creator. However, there is hope for me and for all of us. We can be molded into a beautiful jewel as Ruth was.
First we have to look at what we can do to be the jewel of our home. Elizabeth George lists multiple ways that we can use to make ourselves the jewel in our family’s lives. The one that sticks out to me is ‘Master your temper’. This is under the ‘Grow in emotional stability’ (I actually could learn to do better in this whole area). I am pretty sure that since I have started praying to do better in this area, all of Satan’s minions have united against my attempt to control my emotions better. Similar to the way Ultron gathered his minions together to fight the Avengers in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. I’ve got God as my Avenger team so I think I will turn out pretty good.
Ruth seemed to have the ‘Grow in emotional stability’ thing down. After her husband, Naomi’s son, had died, Naomi was going to head to Judah but first told her two daughters-in-law to go back to their home. Orpah said her goodbyes and went on home. Ruth followed Naomi. You see Naomi’s family were from Bethlehem and called Ephrathites. Their lineage was from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. This was Ruth’s connection to God. She wasn’t going to turn from God after her husband’s passing but come closer. In Ruth 1:16 she says to Naomi that ‘your people will be my people and your God my God.’ She had the emotional stability during such a distressing time to know where she needed to go and know what she needed to do. As a comparison, just a few verses later in Ruth 1:20 we see Naomi’s reaction to losing her husband and sons. Ruth and Naomi arrive to Bethlehem and people are surprised they are back. Naomi’s reaction is to tell people to not call her Naomi but Mara, which means bitter. She goes on to explain that God has brought this misfortune on her. She is blaming God for her husband and sons dying instead of looking to Him for comfort and guidance. This shows Ruth’s emotional stability to think clearly and Naomi’s opposing reaction to blame God. I think this is another reason Ruth can be called out as a ‘virtuous’ woman.
Second, don’t quit. We are going to fail multiple times during this quest to become beautiful jewels. The story in the book that tells about a mother who was not allowed to speak for six months shows a good example of how God acts willingly to our mess ups. He isn’t going to yell and scream to get us to listen to Him but He will let us know calmly and quietly. We have to keep quiet long enough to listen to the post-it notes He gives us to guide us. My challenge this week is to take time to listen to what He is trying to tell you. If you feel comfortable to share what you are hearing, whether on our Facebook page or in the comments, please do so. We are here to help each other.