Closer Than You Know
Our community is in the middle of a series titled, “Honor: Messages From The Book Of Ruth.” This series has been a blessing to us! It is reminding us that when we put God’s word and his way first, the other areas of our life start to settle in their proper place and perspective. Go to our PODCAST tab and check out the messages! I want to share with you a thought from Ruth 1:8-18.
At this point in the story things have not gone well for one of the characters, her name is Naomi. Her family experienced a famine and she lost her husband and her sons. Now, advanced in years, she is left with her two daughter-in-laws Ruth and Orpah and no grandchildren to carry on the family legacy. On top of that she has no way to provide for herself or her daughter-in-laws! Naomi tells Ruth and Orpah to leave her and go find husbands so they can have children and enjoy their life. Naomi feels she surely must be on God’s bad side, just look around! Loss is everywhere! With tears in her eyes Orpah kisses Naomi and goes her separate way but Ruth defiantly, full of love and loyalty is staying put. Ruth is so committed to Naomi that even when Naomi tried to convince her to follow Orpah out the door Ruth’s response was this…
Ruth 1:16-17 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
”16 But Ruth replied: Don’t plead with me to abandon you or to return and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me,[a] and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
Why, Ruth? You have a full life ahead of you? Cut your losses and do your thing! In the moment of conflict and confusion Ruth chose covenant over circumstance. In verse 14 the bible says that Ruth “Clung to her.” “Clung” is the same word used in Genesis 2:24 to describe the marriage bond. Have you ever stopped to think of the words that are said when vows are exchanged? Things like “In sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…til death do us part..”, now who wants some cake?! Not as romantic as you remembered, huh? The wedding vows are placed and said before friends and family so that when the moment comes and a situation in your marriage is not honeymoon-esqe, you lean on your covenant and not the momentary circumstance to define what is true.
As amazing and loyal as Ruth is to Naomi, there is a better Ruth..and it’s not you, it’s Jesus. We are actually Naomi. We fall short, take things to far, say words we regret and do things we wished we wouldn’t have. We experience loss, layoffs and pain. We doubt God, we promise to never do “it” again only to step in the same pile of…(you get what I’m saying). Insecurity, guilt and shame promote us to distance ourselves from friends, family, church and God. Even though we push away, Jesus stays close! Ruth’s profession of love and loyalty was amazing but still had a limit, death! Where death would separate Ruth and Naomi, Jesus’ death on the cross established his covenant with us! He is a better Ruth. He defeated death and sin and abolished the separation between him and us! Look at the similarities between the scripture above, Ruth’s profession of loyalty, and Jesus’ commitment to us in the scripture below!
Romans 8:36-37 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
“37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
All we have to do is trust him! When we feel unworthy, overwhelmed, and discouraged, trust him. When the situation, feeling, emotions, guilt and shame try to write the narrative of who and what we are, trust him! Jesus is committed to us even when we feel like we have nothing to offer him! All he wants is all you can give and that’s your life! You can’t earn his love or commitment, you can only receive it! Jesus is closer than you know! If you want to know more about Jesus and the covenant offered to us, please go to the CONNECT tab on the home page and send us a message! We would love to walk this Journey of love, joy, freedom and more life with you!
– Pastor Ramon