Pastor Carolyn Poteet

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September 15


Carolyn Poteet


"Bought with a Price "


Psalm 103:6-18
Ruth 2:1-12

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September 12, 2019

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done.
May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel,
under whose wings you have come to take refuge." 
       Ruth 2:21

Greetings in the Name of the Lord, Jesus Christ!
Last Sunday we talked about the difficult practice of lament. We heard the story of two widows, one from Israel but living in a foreign land, the other from Moab but willing to give up everything to "return home" to Israel. Naomi wanted to change her name to Mara, which means bitter, because of everything that had gone on in her life. But even as she is sharing her grief and sense of abandonment, we see God at work. He comes to the aid of Israel by providing food, and the women arrive in Bethlehem just as "the barley harvest was beginning."

Throughout the rest of Ruth, we see God unwind the bad and rebuild good on top of good. Ruth goes out to glean barley (picking up the loose stalks that the harvesters dropped or missed). The barley field she chooses happens to be that of Boaz, who happens to be the "kinsman-redeemer" for Naomi's family. Naomi sees an opportunity and helps Ruth essentially propose marriage to Boaz. Being the honorable person he is, he does everything he needs to marry Ruth, including purchasing Naomi's land. Even though Ruth had been barren for ten years, God blesses her and Boaz with a son named Obed. Obed restores Naomi and Elimelek's family line, and at the very end we see that Obed is the father of Jesse who is the father of David.

In the midst of times of lament, it is awfully hard to see God at work. It can seem like everything is falling apart and can never be restored. But even in those dark times, God is not asleep. He is working all things together for good. Our psalm this week is Psalm 103, which sings praise to the Lord "who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy" (Psalm 103:4). God's hesed, His steadfast unfailing covenant love, will never fail us.

In Ruth 2:21, Boaz pronounces a blessing over Ruth: "May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." Where do you take refuge? In our day and age, we can hide in all kinds of different ways. We take refuge in money, in things, in information, in relationships. All of these things will pass away. Psalm 103 compares us to grass, "they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love (hesed) is with those who fear him" (Psalm 103:15-17).

Let us come to take refuge in God's eternal everlasting arms. And in so doing, may we come to know the protection and redemption that Ruth found, as she trusted in the Lord.

Pastor Carolyn
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