Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The God of Hope

 By: Rebekah Hargraves 

Photo Courtesy Of: raquel raclette

"Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord." 

~Psalm 31:24

In these last few weeks we have leading up to the start of Advent, I want to take a little time to help you prepare your heart for this important season, before the hustle and bustle tries to set in. The first week of Advent (which we will celebrate the first week of December) is the week of Hope, and I can't think of a better story of a woman in the Bible to study in preparation for that week than Ruth's. 

Ruth's story as we know it begins when she marries Naomi's son who, ten years later, dies, leaving her as a widow on the brink of destitution. 

Because of the dire straights, financial and otherwise, placed upon widows in that culture, Naomi encourages Ruth to return to her father’s house. However, Ruth refuses. 

In a culture where it would have been very hard to find work as a woman (not to mention the fact that widows were regularly sexually harassed and mistreated in that day), these women now faced growing mountains of hardship. 

In Ruth 2, resourceful and hardworking Ruth asks Naomi to allow her to glean in the barley field belonging to Boaz, one of her deceased father-in-law’s distant relatives. Boaz not only generously allows her to glean in his field, but also ensures that she have access to as much of the harvest as possible, thereby providing Ruth and Naomi with their much-needed sustenance. 

As we continue on through the book, we read of the ancient practice of a kinsman-redeemer stepping in to act on the behalf of a deceased man. In that day, when a man died and his widow was childless, a near relative could act as the kinsman-redeemer, marrying the woman, providing for her, and also seeking to produce with her an heir to continue the deceased husband’s family line. 

Boaz steps in to do all these things and more, providing Ruth with the financial and familial redemption she likely assumed she would never have. As the end of the book tell us, “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son."

What I want you to know is that the God of Ruth is your God—the same unchanging God who is still in the business of changing lives for the better, still in the business of being our Jehovah Jireh, our God Who provides, and still in the business of bringing people into our lives when we need them most. But above all and most importantly, He is in the business of meeting all our needs in Himself. And that is how we can have Hope today and every day, come what may.

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