“Her mother-in-law asked her, ‘Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!’ Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. ‘The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz.’ she said. ‘The Lord bless him!’ Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.’ She added, ‘That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.” (Ruth 2:19-20 – God Tells Us He Is Author of Hope)
The loving protection of the helpless, deeply ingrained in the Old Testament, is attractively portrayed in the care Boaz extended to Naomi and Ruth. The law provided that responsibility for property and offspring of decease relatives were to be assumed by next of kin, so that no family member was left dispossessed or without name and kinship family. (See Leviticus 25:25-34; Deut. 25:5-10). In such law God has clearly revealed His compassionate nature.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, as the Author of Hope, You have given us many reasons to take You seriously when You say You will be with us and protect us and provide for us. In the reading from Ruth, we read where Ruth and her daughter-in-law are in desperate times, but in the darkest of times, You come to bring us hope and further belief that You will always be with your faithful people, and this gives us pause to praise Your holy name once again. We thank You and love You, Abba. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“A problem not worthy of praying about isn’t worth worrying about.”
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let you hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request” (1st Chronicles 4:9-10 1:18– God Tells Us He Is Author of Hope)
God visits individuals whose commitment to His principles and purposes make them recipients of His presence and care in special ways. Jabez is singled out as one whom God prospered for his faithfulness. His prayer led to God’s actions giving him hope. Of course, verse 10 is the “Prayer of Jabez,” popularized in books and hailed to by many authors, clergy and the Christian world in general. This prayer was passionate about asking God to increase his territory, getting a hand up by God and keeping him from harm and live a life free from pain. God responded to Jabez as a faithful believer, though he doesn’t always do so. I believe God recognized in Jabez’s heart the truth of the man’s desire to be faithful always and allowed his cry to become a reality. (The book about the Jabez Prayer is still around and would be worthy of your reading it).
“But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for hey will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and hey will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.” (Ezekiel 36:8-12 – God Tells Us He Is Author of Hope)
The God of redemption and hope declared Israel’s future to be good, beginning with the land and its yield, and the people and their development. The fulfillment of His promises would introduce Him anew to His people.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Therefore this what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: ‘No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.” (Isaiah 29:22– God Tells Us He Is Author of Hope)
Even in the midst of gloomy descriptions of judgment, God revealed Himself as the consistent Author of hope for Israel. His people would not be grieved permanently, regardless of their inappropriate behavior. God’s chastisements are always intermediate steps toward His recurring redemption. Go has a long history of redemption. We can count on His promises to redeem us.