The people's voice of reason

He Will Make A Way

U.S. Minister to France, Benjamin Franklin, read the Old Testament book of Ruth to court patrons who delighted in this love story and were often surprised to discover it was from the Bible.

Ruth is preeminently a love story and demonstrates the hand of God through the adversities of life.

The book contains three tragedies. First, Elimelech and wife Naomi left Israel for Moab during a famine, and Elimelech died there. Their two sons married Canaanite women, contrary to the Jewish law (and to Paul’s counsel in 1 Corinthians that believers “not be unequally yoked.” Someone noted when a child of God marries a child of Satan, they’ll have trouble with their father-in-law!).

And inexplicably, both of Naomi’s sons died, too.

Naomi unselfishly asked her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab and find husbands. Women in the day had no civil rights and needed the protection of marriage.

Orpah remained, but Ruth determined to return with Naomi to her native Bethlehem.

There Ruth gleaned in the fields of a wealthy bachelor named Boaz. Old Testament law mandated that farmers leave some of the grain behind for the poor; thus, a unique courtship began.

The intrigue in this book is based on the levirate marriage in which a man’s surviving brother was to marry his widow if she was childless—again a way to provide stability. Boaz was related to Naomi, but not next of kin to her family, so he bartered his way into this relationship.

One of Jesus’ most remembered exchanges is with a religious leader who attempted to trap him in this regard with a hypothetical. A woman married a man who died, then his brother married her, and he died, and so on until seven brothers had died. By the second or third mysterious death one would think Nancy Grace would come to film a segment!

Peter Noone gave us a great song about a man who was the eighth Henry to marry a multiple-widowed woman. I always think of this song when reading this critic’s ridiculous story.

Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed, who had a son named Jesse, who had a son named David, the greatest king of Israel. And Bethlehem became known as the city of David.

Then the Old Testament prophets promised the messiah would be a descendant of David and be born in Bethlehem.

The problem for Joseph and Mary was not lineage, but residency since they lived in Nazareth.

But the hand of God intervened and brought them to Bethlehem where a stable became the delivery room for a new-born king.

As a popular chorus proclaims, “He works in ways we cannot see; he will make a way for me.”

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 
Rendered 07/16/2024 09:37