Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change: Part VI
Hi everyone, if you are reading this review on the release day, then I’d like to wish you a Happy Sabbath! May you be filled with God's peace and joy!
This week’s program review is for Part 6 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 6 part Refuge Series is based on the Book of Ruth. We have reviews for Part One through Five, so if you haven’t read those yet, then I recommend you go back and read them before you read this entry, Part Six (Finding Home).
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:
Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change, Part 6 goes through Chapter Four, the final chapter of the Book of Ruth. Tuttle starts with how Chapter Three ended, with Naomi saying to Ruth in 3:18 "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day."
Tuttle does a recap on acting and waiting, according to the will of the Lord and how we can make plans, but it is the Lord who determines the outcome. This all ties in with the situation Ruth and Boaz found themselves in. Ruth needed to wait and Boaz needed to act - according to the will of God.
Tuttle reviews 4:1-2, the meeting of Boaz and the close relative that would be in line to marry Ruth. We are encouraged to reflect on how the close relative and the elders reacted to Boaz’s request to join him in a meeting.
The next few verses give opportunity for further reflection:
Ruth 4:3-4 says:
3 Then he said to the close relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
4 And I thought to inform you, saying, 'Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.' " And he said, "I will redeem it."
Tuttle does a good amount of reflection on these verses, and it sparked a lot of reflection for me too, that could easily be a separate podcast. These verses say so much about the integrity of Boaz, despite the feelings he had for Ruth. It can only be by God’s grace that an individual, such as Boaz, was able to have the integrity he possessed. Praise the Lord!
Tuttle moves on to verses 4:5-6: Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance."
6 And the close relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
Tuttle reflects on the order Boaz gave the information he had to the close relative, again showing his integrity and self-less acts towards Ruth.
Tuttle reflects on the cultural aspect of buying a wife and land together and how again, this must be viewed through different lenses. I must say that in all of the times I have read the Book of Ruth, I have never had a problem with verse five. For me, The Book of Ruth is the greatest love story. It has so many levels. It can be viewed as the love between a man and a woman, but also has a connection in how Christ redeemed us. It also represents the relationship of a woman and a man with their Creator, God. There are so many angles and levels within just four short chapters! So for me, as a woman, being bought, along with property, by a godly man, is an honourable gesture. Ruth was being saved, redeemed, taken care of, given a promise of lifetime dedication, devotion and love. There’s nothing more to say but Halleluyah to that!
Tuttle reflects on verses 7-8, but as this is just a short review, I will jump ahead to Ruth 4:9-10.
9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
Tuttle reflects on the importance of private and public witnessing. It made me reflect on how my husband and I privately lifted up a prayer to the Lord, to be joined as husband and wife. Then we had a public wedding, with witnesses, nine months later. Boaz made a commitment to Ruth in private, as we remember from 3:13 Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you--good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning."
After the deal with the close relative was sealed, in an unusual fashion, Boaz declares in the town square, that he was acquiring Ruth as his wife. So at that point, Boaz and Ruth were legally married.
The next verses Tuttle covers are 4:11-15, that contain amazing blessings for Ruth and Naomi.
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman."
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.
14 Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!
15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him."
Tuttle uses the opportunity to reflect on how God uses any one, in any situation, and this is backed by the history of some of the people in the line of Boaz in verses 18-22.
The last part of Chapter Four made me reflect on how we simply don’t see the big picture of God’s plan. The author or Ruth, must have thought it was amazing that the union of Boaz and Ruth led to the birth of King David - but he had no idea it would ultimately lead to the birth of the Messiah - Jesus Christ.
Tuttle asks his listeners: Why do you think God brought you to this study?
For the ministry of Renewed Faith Media, I pray that all that is done through Sabbath Radio and True to the Word is according to the Lord’s will. So I have faith that God led me to this study in order to point others to it.
In addition to this, I see how the Book of Ruth connects to my experience of displacement. Mine isn’t a linear journey. I often fluctuate between losing hope and finding hope, and while my faith has not been depleted, it has been tested many times and continues to be. I remind myself of the countless ways God has shown me that I have found favour with Him. In the worst of times, when I am overwhelmed and slip back into a state of mourning, I cling to faith - the lifeline the Lord has provided and He increases my faith whenever I ask for more.
So what about Finding Home? Personally, I won’t consider myself to have found my true home until Jesus returns. His arrival for me, will signify home, because it’s then that we will be transformed into heavenly beings, with immortal bodies and taken to the heavenly kingdom - our real home (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). Hebrews 13:14 says, For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
Tuttle seems to define home as being grounded in faith in the Lord and solidifying a relationship. Completely resting in the Lord. Even by that definition, I am not home yet, as I don’t consistently rest in the Lord in every moment, in every single situation. There comes a point when I do, but I still have moments in certain situations when I will follow my own agenda, then minutes (or hours) later, reach for the Lord in regret and repent.
Tuttle also asks his listeners: Share one lesson you’ve learned from each of the main characters: Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.
Naomi focused on Ruth’s salvation while going through her own anguish. So God was able to protect Ruth through Naomi, who had her eyes on the Lord.
Ruth’s consistent humility and submission to the God of Israel. His plan, not her own, was her priority. Therefore when she left Moab, she left it physically and mentally behind.
Boaz’s solid commitment to Ruth, through the Lord. He accepted Ruth, in marriage, knowing that she was a woman of nobel character, but little else about her flaws. He didn’t require a period of waiting in order to see if Ruth lived up to the rumours about her. According to God’s will, Boaz was able to make a bold and fireproof commitment to Ruth.
I really appreciated how the Refuge series helped me look at the bigger picture, as my thought process tends to focus mainly on the details. It was very helpful to see how the Book of Ruth connects to current world issues and my own journey in faith.
I hope you have enjoyed the reviews as much as I have enjoyed making them. I encourage you to watch the entire series, if you haven’t done so already, and answer all of the reflection questions. Tuttle encourages participation in the reflection questions whether you are part of a small group, larger group, family or alone.
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.
Film thumbnail source: www.christiancinema.com