Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“If your brother has become poor and has sold some of his property, if any of his kin comes to redeem it, he shall be allowed to redeem what his brother sold.”
Leviticus 25: 25
The Role of the Redeemer
Redeem: To claim what is rightfully yours.
“Let the fact of what our Lord suffered for you grip you, and you will never again be the same.”
Oliver B. Breene
Have I allowed my “Redeemer” to claim me as His own?
“Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! Blest sepulcher!
Blest rather be The Man that there
Was put to shame for me.”
“Christ is the Morning Star who, when the night of this world is past brings to His (daughters and sons) the promise of the light of life and opens everlasting day.”
The morning sun had just risen in the eastern sky. Ruth was already up and busy for today would be a long day – an exciting day. Expectancy hung in the air. What would the unknown events of the coming day bring? Ruth had no idea as she made her way to the field of Boaz with the other gleaners.
Widowed and poor, a foreigner and outcast, Ruth didn’t expect much. Neither do we when we feel as though we are on the outside looking in.
As Ruth began her workday, she never could have imagined the wondrous blessings which would be bestowed upon her. By eventide, when she arrived home, what a story she had to share with her mother-in-law, Naomi.
Looking at the abundance Ruth held in her hands, the astonished Naomi asked, “Where have you gleaned today? Where did you work?” And then, in an exclamation of praise, realizing that Ruth’s day had been anything but normal, Naomi cried out with unbridled joy, “Blessed be the man who noticed you!” (Ruth 2: 18-20).
Don’t we all have a longing to be noticed? A desire to have someone look upon us with loving-kindness and say, “She is mine. I don’t only notice her, I claim her.”
Over the last few days, as we have walked with Ruth and Naomi back from the land of Moab, a place of emptiness and death, we have joined them as they entered Bethlehem, “The House of Bread,” during Harvest-Time which for them became a literal physical and spiritual time of plenty in their lives. Harvest-Time also brought them a “Fruit-Full” time in their lives as they both benefitted from the gifts of Boaz on earth and their Father in heaven.
But now, for Ruth and Naomi, as can happen in the lives of all God’s children after being fed and becoming fruitful, their heavenly Father was leading them into a time of new life, a time of redemption. A time when God re-claimed them again. No longer was the life they spent in Moab going to hold them back because, “Redeeming-Time” had arrived.
I love the way author David Mowbray in Psalms for Today, describes what “Redeeming-Time” is like in our lives:
“Laughter and song!
The Lord has done great things:
His people once were freed
from tyrant kings.
Yet now we wait
in sad captivity:
Rise up, redeeming Lord
to set us free!
Tears turn to joy!
the weeping farmer sows
and, slowly through the
storms, the harvest grows.”
This is exactly what happened to Ruth and Naomi. Held captive by the chains of grief that bound their hearts in despair to Moab, they came home to find a “redeemer” who took the role of claiming them for who they were – members of his family. Boaz’s role, his assignment, his function as “redeemer,” was to claim what belonged to him – and in so doing, Ruth and Naomi were re-established in the House of Bread, within the arms of a family where they were beloved.
For the next few days, we will unearth what it means to experience “Redeeming-Time” in our lives, just as Ruth and Naomi did.
For you and me, this is the time when our Father claims what belongs to Him. No longer do we have to allow the past of Moab to weigh us down with pain and heartache -- with what-ifs or regrets. Our Father has brought us back home. Our “Redeemer” has staked a claim on each of our lives. We are His and no one else has a right to us!
The past is done away with. “Behold I make all things new.” “Redeeming-Time” is a time of renewal. Unity is restored. Oneness exists in God’s family. Through Christ, we become restored to God.
“One the count of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide,
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy,
Flowed a vast and gracious tide,
Grace and love like mighty rivers,
Flowed incessant from above,
Heaven’s peace and perfect justice,
Kissed a guilty world in love.”
Love Song of the Welsh Revival
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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