“Entreat me not to leave thee, or return from the following after thee.”
Ruth 1: 16
King James Version
“I Entreat You”
“Many things are lost for want of asking.”
How do I feel when I ask God for something for myself?
What am I “entreating” God for in my own life right now?
“If a care is too small to be turned into a prayer, it is too small to be made into a burden.”
Corrie ten Boom
“Prayer oneth the soul to God.”
Julian of Norwich
When I repeated the phrase, “Entreat me not to leave Thee,” as a young girl, I had no idea what the words meant. All I knew was that I needed to memorize two verses and not make a mistake when I repeated them before a listening audience.
Sad to say, as time flew by, I never dedicated a few moments to find out what the words spoken by Ruth really meant.
However, Transformation Garden has changed all that – and over the last few weeks, this treasured passage has come alive with new meaning as well as importance in my daily life.
Let’s begin our study today by placing a magnifying glass on the rarely studied word “entreat.” This word in Hebrew is “paga,” which means, “make intercession or pray.” Interestingly, this Hebrew word “paga,” is used only twice in the Old Testament and I want to look at both of the places this word is used because I found, much to my joyous surprise, these two different experiences give us a broader meaning to the word “entreat” than I had ever known before.
In Genesis 23: 8 (K.J.V.), the Bible tells us Abraham asked the children of Heth, to “entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar.” The circumstances surrounding this request were brought on by the death of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Wandering in the foreign land of Canaan, Abraham longed to find an appropriate burial place for his wife. He owned no plots or land. And so he asked the sons of Heth, as a favor, to ‘Entreat’ or ‘intercede’ on his behalf with Ephron who owned the cave of Machpelah which, as Abraham stated, “he hath in the end of his field” (Genesis 23:9). What is so beautiful about this story is that when Ephron was asked in the presence of Abraham, he responded kindly. Ephron said he would give the land to Abraham. Abraham was asking someone to speak on his behalf – just as we pray for others on behalf of their needs. And what happened? The answer came in showers of blessing. Praise God!
There’s more, however! In the case of Naomi and Ruth, the “intercessor” was not a third-party. The intercessor, the person doing the ‘entreating’ was Ruth herself. And this to me was a completely new thought. For some reason, and I don’t believe I’m alone in thinking this, I’ve always felt that to ‘intercede’ with heaven on my own behalf somehow had a selfish ring to it. After studying Ruth’s prayer, I feel just the opposite! I should have been doing more ‘entreating,’ all along! This doesn’t mean I pray less for others, it just means I pray more for myself. What we are going to find out as we study the rest of Ruth’s intercessory prayer is that there are certain specific things in our own lives, that if we intercede with God on our personal behalf, these prayers won’t just be heard, we can live everyday of our lives with the certainty our intercessory prayers in support and for the benefit of our own lives will be absolutely answered for our eternal good.
There’s a story in the Old Testament about Jacob who wrestled with an unknown man all night long. At the “breaking of the day,” when Jacob realized he could not prevail in this fight and finally recognized his opponent was none other than God, he cried out, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me” (Genesis 32: 24-30, K.J.V.). As I thought back to this experience, in my mind’s eye, I imagined Ruth “cleaving” to Naomi and crying out, “I intercede with you not to let me go – for where you go I will go, too!”
I ask you to go to your Father with the same words of Ruth, “I intercede with you – don’t ever let me go.” For we can intercede on behalf of ourselves knowing fully our heavenly Father longs to answer the desires of our hearts. And we are assured, He will never, ever withhold any good gift from His children whom He loves so much. Like Ephron, when we ask, God will give us the cave. And like Naomi, He’ll take us from a land of death, Moab, to our home of life in Bethlehem.
“Thee We Could Not Lose”
“Sunshine let it be or frost,
Storm or calm, as Thou shalt choose;
Though Thine every gift were lost,
Thee Thyself, we could not lose.”
“Lo, I am with you always”
“Wide fields of corn along the valleys spread;
The rain and dew mature the swelling vine;
I see the Lord in multiplying bread;
I see him turning water into wine;
I see him working all the works divine
He wrought when Salemward his steps were led;
The selfsame miracles around him shine;
He feeds the famished; he revives the dead;
He pours the flood of light on darkened eyes;
He chases tears, diseases, fiends away;
His throne is raised upon these orient skies;
His footstool is the pave whereon we pray.
Ah, tell me not of Christ in Paradise,
For he is all around us here today.”
John Charles Earle
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeets jesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
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