I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Deep Thought Thursday: God Remembers Our Past No More

(Ruth 4:11) "And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: (Ruth 4:12) And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman." (Bold-ness added)

In the Bible study that I host on Thursdays here at my house, we just finished going through the book of Ruth. I love the book of Ruth. There are so many things to glean (no pun intended) from it.

I want to focus on what the running theme of this book seems to be: 'Your past is past and has no bearing on your future in the eyes of God.'

Why do I think this? Let's look at the evidence, shall we?

We see in these verses, the women of the neighborhood honoring Boaz through their words, and hoping Ruth would be like Rachel and Leah. Now if you remember the story of these two sisters, they were anything but honorable. Rachel stole idols from her father's house and endangered all their lives, and Leah went along with the plan to trick Jacob into marrying her instead of her sister. Not to mention the fact that they quarreled incessantly and were jealous of one another. Yet the women in this time say they hope Ruth will be like them!!

I believe they mean that she will bear many babies and be blessed in that way, but why did God choose those particular examples? If we read the next verse, we see the example of Tamar mentioned. Let's not forget she, in anger of being unfairly cast aside by her father-in-law dresses up as a prostitute and sleeps with him in order to secure a child. Her son Pharez is the direct ancestor of Boaz, but there are many other men listed. Why did God pick the one born in sinful circumstances?

I believe it is to illustrate the point that in Christ, (or as a follower of God) your past is past. It no longer matters, like it isn't even a part of who you are. These women mentioned here are all of questionable honor, yet God uses them as examples in a blessing bestowed on someone else. Amazing.

Of course we remember there is no better person to accept the background of Ruth than Boaz. His own mother was Rahab the harlot, so he is used to the idea that God forgives and people move on. Rahab's son (Boaz) is an honorable man, and in the line of Christ!

Also, remember that Ruth is a Moabitess. They were the enemies of Israel.

(The Moabites originated from Lot committing incest with his oldest daughter. (See Genesis 19:32-37.) After the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, the Moabites tried to block the Israelites' path to the Promised Land (See Exodus 15:15.) One of the Moabite kings, Balak, tried to hire Balaam to curse Israel (See Numbers 22:1-41.) During the time of the judges, the Moabites were the most hated of all of the Israelites' enemies (See Judges 3:12-30.).)

We must also remember that any offspring from a marriage to a Moabite were not to be allowed into the temple for (at least)ten generations. But God, throwing Ruth's background aside (as far as the east is from the west sound familiar?) once she decided to follow and worship him, allows her to bear a son (Obed), who bears a son (Jesse), who bears a son (David), who bears a son (Solomon) who BUILT THE TEMPLE.

Solomon is only the fourth generation. Is this a sign that God forgives immediately and completely and disregards our past? I think so.

The next time the Devil tries to dangle your past in front of you like some kind of spiritual slap in the face, remember these verses in Ruth, the women God chose to use in a blessing to honorable people, and tell the Devil to take a walk. Your past is just that: past. And if God doesn't hold on to it, why should we?

6 Comments:

  • Hayes

    I like the book of Ruth too. What a great reminder that God can use any of us. It doesn't matter what we used to be. Well written.

  • JulieMom

    Welcome to the world of comments my friend!!! Do glad you decided to join us. When can I expect your first post??? Hmmm???

    :0) Love you.

  • Sabrina

    Julie, what a great reminder. I'm frequently trying to remember that my past is my past. There is no need to bring it up to the present. Thanks for this reminder.

  • WendyMom

    What a great encourager for us today. Even my crankiness this morning doesn't have to be for the afternoon- and god will forgive it and wipe it away!

    Thanks for the uplift and smile--

  • WendyMom

    Um, that's God with a CAPITAL "G"-=- sorry!

    So glad He'll forgive that too...

  • JulieMom

    Two new commenters in one day!!

    Welcome Sabrina as well. Pop in any time. Your blog cracks me up.

    (Not the serious posts- you know what I mean anyway, right?)

    Welcome!!

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