Tomorrow we begin 2 Timothy! Four chapters, four days, incredible principles for living.
Ruth 4:7, “Now in those days it was the custom in Israel…” (NLT)
What’s your habit? What’s the custom in your household? What’s the practice in your place of business? What words come to mind that would describe your community? What is your school really known for? What are you known for?
One of the most interesting facts about the book of Ruth is that you won’t find one verse that tells you anything significant about God. There are no commandments. No principles or precepts. There’s no correction or instruction in righteousness. The book isn’t really about God at all. The book of Ruth is a simple story about a family and how that family comes together to build a legacy that would one day give birth to kings.
Certainly God can be found in the book. The family prays for one another. They invoke the name of God in their dealings with one another. The custom of the Kinsman Redeemer was a common practice for the children of Israel. One member of the family would redeem another to insure the family was provided for and the family named carried on. It’s a beautiful picture of what God has done for you and me through the work of Jesus on the cross. But there’s nothing in the book to indicate that this was the author’s purpose.
Imagine you read the book of Ruth apart from the rest of Scripture. You would read a tragic story of loss, a hopeful story of love and kindness and discover the customs and habits of a culture whose foundation is God.
It tells me something about being a God-follower.
The habits of my life reflect the authenticity of my beliefs. Ruth found her kinsman redeemer and became great-grandmother to a king because she and her family practiced habits and customs that reflected their faith in God. They didn’t have to quote rules and regulations to one another. They didn’t focus on commands. They didn’t beat one another over the head with spiritual language, talk of God or their great big family Bible with the actual picture of Jesus on the front. Instead, they lived what they believed. Their faith was practiced. It was so much a part of their culture, so much a part of who they were, that it simply came out in the choices they made.
There’s much to learn from this. It affects the way I talk. More importantly, it affects the way I live.
The story of my life will be read my most people apart from the context of Scripture. What story will they read?
Thank you for being my kinsman redeemer. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Let the choices I make and the habits of my life reflect my trust in you. Let the story of my life and my family bring glory to you. Let our family be less about rules and regulations and more about each of us simply living in a way that honors you, serves one another and sets an example to others of what love really is.
I love you, in Jesus name –