Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ruth and Boaz - A match that only makes sense in Heaven

Drawing of Ruth & Boaz
obtained from Google Images
At Hope Crossing we're in a series on Ruth. I really enjoy Ruth because I can TOTALLY RELATE to being a young poor single lady looking after her mom! :D (who is also poor and yeah).  Our pastor pointed out that a lot of people though Ruth and Boaz's meeting was "love at first sight" but it might not have necessarily been. 

Ruth was a foreigner and the Israelites were told not to marry foreign citizens. Therefore, Boaz wouldn't have even considered her for marriage. Also, he calls her "my daughter" when he addresses her. John Piper said that could indicate a large age gap between them. Therefore, he probably wouldn't think of her as marriage material because she was too young for him. 

Boaz was a rich guy, but he was OLD! Like, he probably had to trim his ear and nose hair and pop his back in five different places before going out to the fields to greet his workers. Ruth probably didn't consider marrying him at first because a) she was a foreigner and probably thought he wouldn't want to marry him anyway and b) she was barren so she couldn't really be of any value in continuing on his line. She hadn't had kids in 10 years of marriage and that was when The Pill and such definitely didn't exist. 

However, God had other plans. He made Ruth see that Boaz is a nice guy and by the way her kinsman-redeemer. He made Boaz see that here was the opportunity to show he had a pair and step up for his family he never knew existed until recently. Their marriage wasn't based on mutual feelings of drooling over each other, and I'm sure when Naomi basically told Ruth, "Hey! Propose the the guy!" the conversation may have gone something like this: 
"Um.... Mom - do you mean propose to the old guy?" 
"Yes, the old guy who HAPPENS TO OWN THE FIELD YOU WORKED IN ALL SUMMER! Our kinsman-redeemer *wink wink*
"Oh - oh yeah. *cringe* Um, but I'm a barren previously married foreigner and such." 
"Well, if he has a pair and remembers which family you married into AND  knows the Levitical law, he'll do it." 
"Well. Ok. See ya, mom!" 

And God softened Ruth's heart to listen to her mom :D 

But anyway, yeah. Just reading the story without knowing God was in it, people might be like, "What!?! That's a nice love story but... odd?" But when we read it knowing God used a very unlikely pairing to continue the Messianic line of Christ, it becomes epic!!! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A little update from little me

Oh.... hi! I had a BLOG!?!?! Yes... Yes I do :D Anyway It's me! :) I've been a liiiitle busy with paralegal classes!

Midterms are next week! Again! I'll be 2/3 done with the semester! :O

I can't believe that I only have one more semester to go before I graduate. Next semester is my internship. I am still enjoying my volunteer work at Colorado Legal Services. It's the "internship before the internship."

Outside of paralegal school I'm enjoying hanging out with my Hope Crossing peeps! I'm in a group that meets on Sunday mornings before church. That's convienent because I can just get there and do church and Small Group on the same day :D I've already shown my HDFS / Paralegal nerdy side and everyone just smiles and laughs :) A woman leads the Bible study. It's sorta weird after Summitview when a man would lead a mixed-gender group, but she's a great teacher / small group leader. We're going over Fruits of the Spirit and God uses those as we relate to the lost. They basically see these fruits and wonder how we can love and be patient etc. when most people wouldn't. Then we say "Jesus! Check it out :) "

Anyway, that's a little update from little me! :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

It can all be lost in a generation

In 2nd Chronicles 10-12, Rehoboam is king over Judah and has a very different reign than Solomon. Jeroboam is king over Israel and the David / Solomon's kingdom is divided into Israel and Judah. Rehoboam institutes harsh laws regarding forced labor causing the Israelites to rebel against him. He nearly went to war against Israel, but God had told him not to. So he settled in the regions of Judah and Benjamin. Rehoboam still maintained the Levitical religious practices and so the Levites came to Jerusalem and continued practicing there. They walked in the ways of David and Solomon (Ch 11:16-17).  Unfortunately, the king of Egypt attacks Jerusalem and takes all the gold and treasure that Solomon had built up through his reign. 

When I read that the gold and treasure had been taken in that one raid only a generation after Solomon's reign, I was struck at how in one generation, nearly everything can be lost. Of course, this could be speaking financially because the economy of Judah probably took a hit (oh no! RECESSION!!), but spiritually, the country was not what it was. The people  of Judah probably had a harsh view of the king due to his laws on forced labor, and they probably thought he was weak in terms of foreign policy as Egypt invaded their land. This is so different from how they viewed David and Solomon where they praised God because of their reigns. In one generation, nearly everything spiritually was lost. Rehaboam may have outwardly kept the Levitical practices, but he did not truly follow God because in Chapter 12 verse 5, a prophet tells Rehaboam, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak [King of Egypt].’”

Me being me, when I think about generations, I think about kids. A parents' strong faith is not necessarily passed down to the children. A closer look at Solomon reveals that he was slipping a bit. Rehaboam's mother was an Ammorite, and in 1 Kings 11:12, God states: “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Solomon had epic amounts of wives, which is weird. Anyway, David walked with God and he messed up, but he passed down enough to Solomon that Solomon didn't completely mess up. Children's faith is positively correlated with their parents' faith usually. We talked about it at Hope Crossing this last Sunday as a matter of fact. They haven't got the message up yet, but they talked about it. 

It goes back to childhood socialization principles. Kids see how their parents live out their worldview and they copy it first in behavior and then internalize the philosphy of the parents once they are capable of abstract thought. 

Something I think about is that if I have kids, I must guard my faith while praying and encouraging Prince Charming to guard his so he can lead the household in the ways of God. We would not ultimately save our kids - that is Jesus' job, but we will play a vital role in showing what faith looks like to the future generation. We must always pray that God in His mercy passes down the faith to the next generation.