Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change. Part III
Hi everyone, if you are reading this blog entry on the release day, then I’d like to wish you a Sabbath filled with the Lord’s peace.
This week’s program review is for Part 3 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. We have reviews for Part One and Two, so if you haven’t read those yet, then I recommend you go back and read them before you read this blog entry, Part Three.
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 Three follows Naomi and Ruth’s new life in Bethlehem. Tuttle draws attention to a man that is mentioned in Ruth 2:1: 1 And Naomi had a kinsman* of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. Tuttle gives some reflections on the description used for Boaz’s character. He then goes on to reflect on how Ruth’s expectation to glean is backed up by God’s command in Leviticus.
Leviticus 19:9-10 - 9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. (stranger means a foreigner)
Theses verses made me think of how merciful God is towards His creation.
Tuttle goes on to look at the first meeting between Ruth and Boaz. I like how Tuttle gives glory to God by saying, “ of all the fields Ruth could have picked, she ‘happened’ to pick the field that belonged to Boaz.”
Tuttle reads 2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee. What a wonderful way for an employer to greet his employees or anyone else for that matter. And Boaz “happens” to show up in his field while Ruth was collecting left over grain. This makes me think of the countless times in my life something just “happened” - and of course, it is God’s hand in our lives, as Tuttle points out during his reflections on Ruth and Boaz’s meeting.
Tuttle has a segment in this episode where he calls us to reflect on the general characteristics of people and cultures and how people tend to categorize other people, in order to make better sense of things. This is in light of Ruth being a foreigner, a Moab, part of a people who were at odds with God’s people. Tuttle reflects on how categorizing can be viewed as destructive. I like how Tuttle reflects on his own challenges with categorizing people and how he uses “not that I am aware of” as part of his reflection. I picked up on that because there might be things we are saying or doing that we are simply not aware of. We may have challenges that we don’t even know we have. It makes me think of:
Colossians 3:16 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 mentioned this verse in the previous episode. I think of this verse in many circumstances. It’s comforting and safe to have the Word of God to support and guide each other in our challenges, and the knowledge that we have the power of God’s grace to overcome our challenges.
So we are encouraged to reflect on how and why Boaz looks passed Ruth’s status as a foreigner. In verse 10, Ruth indicates she wonders why she has gained Boaz’s favour. Boaz explains why in verse 11, then goes on to say the following in verse 2:12:The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
Verse 12 reminds me of Psalm 91, a beautiful promise that I have used in prayer, many a time, that speaks of seeking refuge under God’s wings.
Psalm 91 says:
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.
Ruth sought the God of Israel. She willingly wanted to be included in His people and so God worked through Boaz, a man of standing and mighty in wealth, to provide provision and protection for Ruth and her mother in-law, Naomi. Ruth and Naomi had obtained favour. I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11-13 that says, 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
To round up Part Three, Tuttle asks, “Can you think of a time when someone you considered to be above you reached down toward you and extended a helping hand?”
I found the phrasing of this question interesting, as I don’t consider any other human being above me, as in better than me, because of standards the world has defined: Money, social status, type of employment, etc. It made me reflect that the author of Ruth recorded that Boaz was a godly man, who God had blessed with wealth. God showed Naomi and Ruth His mercy through Boaz. I am reminded of David’s choice to choose God when he had to choose a consequence for counting his army - a choice that rebelled against God. 2 Samuel 24:14 says And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
As Ruth 2:12 says, The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
I can think of a time when someone who I considered further along in their walk of faith than me, reached out and extended a helping hand. And through their help, I felt God’s presence, peace, provision and protection.
Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change, Part Three, encourages us to reflect on how the Lord has and is delivering His favour to us - even when we don’t see it straight away.
I have only mentioned some of the highlights of Part Three for the purpose of this short review. I encourage you to watch or listen to the program, which is roughly 20 minutes.
The subject title for Part Four is, ‘Finding Hope’. I am really looking forward to that!
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.