"Who are you and why are you talking to me like that?" (Even though I was only thinking these words as he spoke, I could feel the color rising in my face!) My sister Shirley and I used to sound exactly alike especially on the phone! (But since I moved to Tennessee, I have picked up a slight southern accent, I am told.) Shirley had just gotten married to Jay and I really didn't know him very well since they lived in a different city. I decided to call my sister not knowing that Shirley had left the house on an errand and had told Jay she would be calling him shortly. When he answered I said, "Hi there!" not identifying myself, thinking he would recognize my voice! Note that this is before caller ID and cell phones. (Now I am really dating myself!)
Jay, thinking it was his new bride, started talking "lovey-dovey" to me! "Oh no" I thought. "She has married a Don Juan who is hitting on me!" With that I demanded, "Let me talk to my sister!" "Whoa!" Jay declared! "I thought I was talking to Shirley!" Through the 30+ years of their marriage Jay was always faithful to her and never a "Don Juan" though he made me wonder with that first call!
It's always good to identify yourself even when you think that it's not necessary. When I first moved to Tennessee, I ordered an answering machine with my new land line. I decided to call my number from work to see if it had been set up and was working correctly. When the answering machine kicked in I gave a simple message and hung up. When I arrived home, I was excited to see that I had a message on my machine forgetting that I had called. Hearing my "sister's" voice I was excited! But all she said was "Hi, Hi, this is me!" and then she hung up! "Why didn't she say something more?" I thought! "She didn't even say goodbye!" as I missed her more! "That message sounds familiar" as the realization started to come. "Oh, that was me!"
It tickles me as I read the Book of Ruth and how both Naomi and Boaz ask Ruth "Who are you?" First when Ruth under Naomi's instructions lays at the feet of the Redeemer, Boaz asks her to identify herself. He had been awakened in the night to find a lady at his feet. Startled he asks who she is. But when Ruth responds that she is his handmaiden Boaz elevates her to family! "I am Ruth your maid. Spread the hem of your garment over me, for you are a close relative and redeemer. "Then he said, "May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter...." (Ruth 3:9,10) With Naomi's directions Ruth was asking Boaz to not only marry her but to redeem her, Naomi and their land. Though she saw herself only as a maid, she was asking for more. In Boaz's response he is accepting his position as their Redeemer and moving her into the family! Because Ruth trusted Naomi she followed her guidance and received through her mentoring redemption!
When Ruth was greeted by Naomi at home, she too asked "Who are you?" (verse 16). Naomi was asking if Ruth's identity had changed. Was she seeing herself as the next Mrs. Boaz? In both cases she was asked to identify herself. There is something powerful in identification both for us and in others! When we do and accept the Redeemers identification of us, we move into a place of protection, provision and intimacy! As we near the end of the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar it's a time of examination! It is also a time of celebrating our identity! Kislev means "security and trust". As we trust Him more, we become more trustworthy! It's a month to mentor and "trust" is necessary. We saw that with our example in the book of Ruth. Press into your identity now through Dec 8th and discover a new level of understanding of who God created you to be! Someone Greater than Don Juan wants to love on you! He's your Redeemer and you can trust Him! (Read more about the insights on this and every Hebraic month at https://annasgate.org/kislev/ )
Find out more about the month of Kislev on our website
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