Dream word – LOOK
“Naomi said to her, ‘Go ahead, my daughter.’ So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, ‘The Lord be with you!’” NIV
Of blow holes in the barley corn
I love the Old Testament book of Ruth and the verses in our text for tonight, are probably my favourites from the whole of the book. Of course, being a lover of God’s deeps, I like these verses in particular, because of the two great whales that break the surface of the crashing waves and spout their presence abroad, for all the world to see. Do you see them?
The scene is set for us in the book when the pleasant Naomi has returned in marred bitterness to her former country, clan and city. Naomi left with her husband and two sons for Moab, just ten years previously. She did so because there was no bread in Bethlehem, yes, there was no bread in “the house of bread”, there was no singing in Judah, the land of praise!
In those ten years away from her homeland, she lost her husband and two sons to tragic deaths and gained two lovely but very needy daughters-in-law, one of whom, despite her best efforts, she could not shake from her apron strings and so had to drag her back to Bethlehem, to want, to ridicule, to gossip and to incessant questioning.
It has been rightly said that God planted a garden and man created the cities but the devil made the small town! Here, in the goldfish bowl of Bethlehem, all Naomi’s poverty and despondency, all of her bitter declarations of the hand of the Lord going out against her, could be seen and heard by everyone and oh the gossip my friends, oh the looks, oh the condemnation, oh the accusation, oh the intense intrigue and the consistent observation of this beautiful foreigner called Ruth. My goodness friends, if it wasn’t for the whales of God’s presence. if it wasn’t for the warm mammals of Gods providence, if it wasn’t for these two giants of His goodness breaking the surface of these deep and troubled waters, then all in the story would be nothing but bleak despondency. Thank God for the whales! Do you see them yet?
This story has a good ending though. Ruth the Moabites, shall be loved by Boaz, in whom is great strength, courage, and cash! Yes, Naomi shall at last be blessed, she shall be well taken care of and children shall bounce upon her knee and from this foreign exchange, shall eventually come David the King and Christ the Saviour! At this point in the story, a testimony to God’s greatness and overwhelming and coming goodness, are the whales. Do you see them yet?
Those two whales are called “As it turned out” and ‘Just then.” An even bigger one of these buggers, seen mostly spouting amongst the covers of the New Testament, is called “But God!” That’s a special one though, because it can only be seen with the eyes of faith. This particular pair however, “As it turned out” and ‘Just then”, can be seen quite clearly on the horizon of our lives almost each and every day. Do you see them yet?
Do you know that whale watching is akin to hearing the voice of God? Oh yes, when God speaks from the sky, some will recognise it and be both blessed and warmed, others will say it was merely thunder. In similar manner, when folks see this pair of whales break the surface of their lives, some will cry mere coincidence, but those who shall be truly blessed by whales, shall praise the Lord! Yes, they shall raise their sail of faith, they shall prepare their nets for a great catch of fish and hope shall feed the hunger, until the catch comes in.
Whales, don’t you love them? Do you see them yet?
Listen: “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: ‘Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.’ Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son.’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. - Ruth 4:13-22 NIV
Pray: Lord tomorrow and always on the horizon of my life, may I see the whales of Your goodness, Your care, Your provision and Your presence, break the surface of all my waiting seas, in Jesus name I pray, amen!
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