Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change: Part II
Hi everyone, if you are reading this when it first goes out on the Sabbath, then I’d like to wish you a Happy Sabbath and greet you further with Philippians 1:6, which says: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!
This week’s program review is for Part 2 of the 6 Part Biblical Character Series called: Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change by Philip Tuttle, who runs Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. NB! I am not affiliated with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries.
The six part Refuge Series is based on the Book of Ruth. The review for Part One has the full description of the series, so if you haven’t heard that, I recommend you go back and listen to it before listening to Part 2.
In the Book of Ruth, Naomi, having fled a famine only to suffer devastating losses, returns home, grieving and accompanied by her foreign daughter-in-law. Naomi thought she had nothing left, but God surprised her with His faithfulness in the midst of her crisis of faith. We can learn from this story as we see how Naomi experienced:
Part Two continues with the general theme of displacement. We review the loss of Naomi’s husband and two sons and Philip Tuttle draws our attention to how much or how little we trust in God when things go terribly wrong.
Tuttle reads from Ruth 1:6-7, which says:
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. 7 Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Tuttle draws attention to some key points, I will mention one - the conversation between Naomi and her two daughters in-laws, Ruth and Orpah. They want to join Naomi and move to Bethlehem, Judah. Naomi wants them to stay in Moab and build new lives for themselves. Tuttle looks at how this conversation can reflect Naomi’s faith. The conversation continues in verses eight through ten.
Tuttle points to a turn in Naomi’s perspective in verses 11-13, which says:
Turn back, my daughters, go--for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!" The subject focus of Part Two of this series is ‘Losing Hope’ and it seems that Naomi has done just that, according to the those verses.
Tuttle draws some interesting parallels with some other books in the Bible, when it comes to Naomi’s plight. He talks about why we have trials and how people can react to them.
Tuttle points to Ruth’s adamant behaviour in verses 16-18, which says:
But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."
Tuttle encourages his listeners to reflect not only on Ruth’s decision, but on the decisions Orpah and Naomi make in this time of distress. He follows up this time of reflection with some thought provoking questions.
There is further reflection involving verses 19-22. Tuttle draws attention to Naomi’s decision to be called by a name that reflects her interpretation of God’s intentions towards her. This is followed up by thought provoking commentary about grief.
Tuttle round off Part Two which a question to reflect on (and discuss if you have the opportunity to do this).
When have you experienced a crisis of faith like Naomi? What did those around you do that helped or hurt you during that time? How has/is God helping you make it through that time?
I really appreciate the questions Philip Tuttle asks his listeners. They are thought provoking and encourage honest reflection.
When I reflected on the questions, a few Bible verses came to mind. Jesus says in John 14:16-18
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
It strengthens me to know that God is always there, through His Spirit. He listens to my ramblings, my repeats, complaints, my cries of joy or my wails of frustration and grief. I am never alone. I don’t fully understand how the godhead works and I don’t think any human being will before Jesus Christ returns. However, I know from scripture that Jesus is our High Priest and He is praying for us. It strengthens me to know that Jesus is praying on my behalf. And I know from scripture that the Holy Spirit is God’s arm of power here on earth. Understanding these things, through the Word, gives me the comfort and confidence I need to keep reaching for the Lord, one day at a time - as in Give us each day, our daily bread (Matthew 6:11)
I also think of Colossians 3:16 - 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. I thought of this verse because reading, singing and praying over scripture has strengthened my faith immensely over the years.
Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change, Part Two has thought provoking reflections and questions concerning our faith, trust and our thought process in the midst of grief. I have only mentioned some of the highlights for the purpose of this short review. I encourage you to watch or listen to the whole program, which is roughly 20 minutes.
In Part Three we reflect on how things start to improve for Naomi. The subject title for Part Three is, ‘Finding Favour’.
I watched Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change via www.christiancinema.com
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time, peace be with you