4/28/16: Be Where You Can Find Favor
The narrative of Ruth in the Bible is a beautiful love story. If you’re an incurable romantic like me, you’ll love it; but even if you’re not, you will have to at least smile at the end. Here’s this Moabite woman – someone the men of Israel weren’t even supposed to associate with much less marry – who conducts herself so admirably that she ends up the wife of the most eligible bachelor in town. Not only that, in the long run, she becomes one of the ancestors in the line that led to Jesus Christ.
How did she do it? Simple. Ruth went where she could find favor.
The first place Ruth went was into the arms of the God of Israel. She married an Israelite, a man of an entirely different race and religion, and accepted his God. We know that from her own words in Ruth 1:16 when she affirmed to Naomi, her mother-in-law, “…Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (NKJ)
After their husbands died, the next place Ruth went was to Bethlehem with Naomi. Bethlehem means ‘house of bread.’ Ruth left her native land to be fully a part of the family of God in their homeland.
Then Ruth chose a wise place to go to work. She said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor” Ruth 2:2 (NKJ). She didn’t choose just any field; she was interested only in a workplace where she “may find favor.” This word ‘favor’ in Hebrew is ‘chen’ meaning “graciousness, kindness, beauty, pleasant, and precious.” You see, Ruth wasn’t attracted to rough, unsavory places or people. No “bad boy” fascination here. She chose her location and associations wisely.
Shall we take a lesson from Ruth today? Where are we hanging out and with whom? Are we even considering the long run, the down-the-road possibilities of our associations with certain places and people? If we go to God first, hang out where God’s people hang out, and do honest work where God’s favor rests, we’ll be in the vicinity when the blessings rain down.
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