Refuge - Finding Home in a World: Part V
Hi everyone, if you are reading this review on the release day, then I’d like to wish you a Happy Sabbath!
This week’s program review is for Part 5 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 Four, so if you haven’t read those yet, then I recommend you go back and read them before you read this episode, Part Five (Finding Faith).
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:
Philip Tuttle starts out with a short recap of the first two chapters that have been covered so far. He points to how Chapter Two ended. Ruth 2:23. 23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
So Ruth will no longer be able to glean from Boaz’s field, as, harvest has ended . So we are left wondering. Now what?
We read Ruth 3:1-4. Tuttle provides some reflection on Naomi’s assertiveness. I like how Tuttle suggests we don’t look at Naomi’s plan through contemporary eyes. Why does he say this? Because if we do, we lean towards the wrong motivation for Naomi’s advice and Ruth’s actions.
Tuttle continues to 3:5-9. 5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do."
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her.
7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative."
When I reflect on these verses, I hear trust and humility in Ruth’s request to Boaz.
Tuttle reads Boaz’s response in 3:10-11.
10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
These verses made me reflect on how Ruth, after starting in Boaz’s field, did not stray from the path she felt the Lord had put her on. Boaz calls her, my daughter, and comments on how she didn’t go after younger men, so there was a significant age difference between them. Ruth knew she had been blessed through Boaz, so she showed her trust and obedience to the Lord by focusing on Boaz.
Tuttle continues to 3:12-13. Here, Tuttle reflects on more examples of Boaz’s fine character and uses verses 14-17 to highlight the efforts of Boaz and Ruth to protect their virtue. Tuttle also reflects on more examples of Boaz’s generosity towards Naomi, his relative, that Boaz consistently remembered in his generous acts.
Tuttle draws attention to Naomi’s confident statement in 3:18 , which says, 18 Then she said, "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."
This reminds me of our commitment to trust the Lord. We use our will to do all we can, according to His will, then we wait for the Lord to act. This verse reminds me of Psalm 125:1, which says. Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. I am also reminded of Zechariah 4:6; 6 So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts.
Ruth had done all she could, but ultimately, it was down to the power of the Lord of Hosts.
I like how Tuttle highlights Boaz’s noble character in what Naomi said. They could trust Boaz was not going to delay, get sidetracked or follow a different agenda.
Tuttle takes the opportunity to reflect on the times when we need to wait and times when we need to initiate. I am reminded again of Zechariah 4:6 and the need to be bathed in prayer whether we are actively waiting or initiating.
Tuttle asks his listeners to reflect on which one they are more comfortable doing. Which one comes naturally; initiating or waiting. Tuttle references 2 Corinthians 9:10 when considering how limited our strength is. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Tuttle’s discussion question is: Initiating and waiting are both expressions of faith. Which is harder for you? Share about a time when God asked you to do what doesn’t come naturally.
Although I have been confused and frustrated a few times in the process, I lean towards waiting. So initiating is harder for me. When I felt the Lord call me to start Renewed Faith Media, I felt the push and pull of how I was going to do something that I had no experience in: a blog, podcast and internet radio station. Once I felt that peace that told me it was the Lord’s will, I let the Lord act through me. Within a two week period, in October 2021, I went from no thoughts of a ministry, to a fully functional ministry, Renewed Faith Media, with its website, True to The Word blog and podcast, and internet radio station, Sabbath Radio. God equipped me with the wisdom, funding and resources that I needed to make it happen. Here’s an amazing fact. About eight months before the ministry was started, I had bought four scripture song albums from a ministry I was quite familiar with. There ended up being a lot of songs, and I thought I had gone overboard as there were more songs than I had the time to listen to. As time went on, I forgot about the purchase, as I had other scripture songs I listened to on a daily basis. It was these scripture songs the Lord brought to mind when He called me to start Sabbath Radio. They were perfect and I realized that God had impressed me to make that purchase for the calling of the radio station later on.
Tuttle also asks what was a struggle with what we had to do and what did we need from other people.
The hardest thing for me in a situation where I felt the Lord was calling me to act, was the lack of faith of those around me - the doubters. But I was again reminded of Psalm 125:1: Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. So I knew I could stand firm knowing that through prayer and His word, God had made His will known, in His timing. Praise the Lord!
Here are the review questions once again: Share about a time when God asked you to do what doesn’t come naturally. What was a struggle with what you had to do and what did you need from other people?
Before you reflect on or discuss those review questions, I would encourage you to watch Part 5 of the series, to get a good overview of all of the content covered.
Refuge - Finding Home in a World of Change, Part 5 , focuses on having faith and trusting in the Lord’s plan for us, as He requires us to switch between waiting and acting. For me, it’s challenging not to be able to see far ahead. However, Proverbs 16:9 reminds me: In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 20:24 says: 24 A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way? And for the times it seems as though the steps I am taking lead me down paths that cause my heart to ache and be filled with sorrow, and it seems as though the Lord is silent, Psalm 23 reminds me that I have the perfect shepherd. He is guiding me and has promised never to forsake me. Psalm 23 says:
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
We are almost finished with the review fo the Refuge series. Part 6 will be reviewed and published next Sabbath. The subject title for Part Six is, ‘Finding Home’.
This series has been a blessing for me, even though I did not have a small group to discuss the review questions with. Reflecting on Tuttle’s questions by myself, after watching each episode, gave me a deeper understanding of the scripture and created new connections to my own journey of finding home in a world of change.
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