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servant

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Sep 2 11 5:35 AM

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RUTH

"But Ruth said: '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. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. Lord do so to me and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.'" Ruth 1:16-17

A FAMINE IN THE LAND

In the days when the Judges ruled, there was a famine in the land of Israel. Elimelech took his wife, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, away from Bethlehem, Judea, to the country of Moab. Bethlehem means 'the house of bread' and yet there was famine in Bethlehem. The land flowing with milk and honey was being judged by the Lord with famine. The name Elimelech means 'my God a King'. Naomi means 'pleasant'. However, their childrens' names were Mahlon (sickness) and Chilion (consumption). One wonders why parents would call their children 'sickness' and 'consumption'. It must have been a terrible time in the history of Israel.



The rabbis of Israel believed that Elimelech's family left Israel in the days of Ehud, and that Naomi and Ruth returned during the judgeship of Deborah. It is also believed that Samuel edited and included the book of Ruth in the Scriptures. It is well placed after the book of Judges and before the books of Samuel, as that is the time in which Ruth lived.



DISOBEDIENCE LEADS TO DISASTER

The Puritan Bible commentator Matthew Henry condemns Elimelech for taking his family away from Bethlehem into the land of Moab, on the other side of the Jordan. Elimelech's care in providing for his family was without doubt commendable. But by taking his family for so long into the land of the heathen, he dishonoured God, weakened the hands of his brethren, and set a bad example for others. "It is an evidence of a discontented, distrustful, unstable spirit, to be weary of the place in which God has set us, and to be for leaving it immediately whenever we meet with any uneasiness or inconvenience in it."



The fact that his sons married Moabite women receives further condemnation from the Bible commentator. Matthew Henry notes that Orpah is said to have returned to her gods (1:15). He also notes that it is a tradition of the Jews that Ruth was the daughter of Eglon, king of Moab, although there is no Biblical evidence for this.



It does not appear that the Moabite women converted to the Jewish religion before their marriage to the sons of Elimelech. Matthew Henry notes that the death of Elimelech and his two sons are evidence of the Lord's judgment upon them: "their days were shortened because they transgressed the Law in marrying strange wives."


Naomi lost her husband and then her children. The country of Moab, which had afforded them shelter and supply in a time of need, now held no attraction at all. Naomi determined to return to Bethlehem.



A TIME TO LEAVE

Naomi then urged her daughters-in-law to return to their father's house. She dismissed them with commendation and prayer: "Go, return each to her mother's house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." (1:8-9)


She kissed them and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, "Surely we will return with you to your people. But Naomi said, 'Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go - for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them until they were grown? Would you refrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters, for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!' Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her, and she said, 'Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.'"


DISCOURAGEMENT OR DISCERNMENT?

Matthew Henry asks whether Naomi did well to discourage her daughters-in-law from going with her, when by taking them with her she might save them from the idolatry of Moab and bring them to the Faith and worship of the God of Israel? Matthew Henry believes that Naomi did want them to come, but not upon her account. She wanted them to make a deliberate choice, to count the cost. "Our Saviour took this course with him who, in the heat of zeal spoke that bold word, 'Master I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest." Come, come, says Christ, canst thou fare as I fare? The Son of Man has not where to lay His head..." Matthew 8:19-20.


Henry comments: "Thoughts ripened into resolves by serious consideration are likely to be kept...whereas what is soon picked is soon rotten."
"Orpah was easily persuaded to yield to her own corrupt inclination and to go back to her country, her kindred in her father's house...to Orpah the representation Naomi made of the inconveniences they must count upon if they went forward to Canaan sent her back to the country of Moab, but, on the contrary, it strengthened Ruth's resolve."



TWO DIFFERENT DECISIONS

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and bade her farewell forever. Naomi's kiss showed that she had affection for Orpah and was sad to leave her "yet she did not love her well enough to leave her country for her sake. Thus many have a value and an affection for Christ, and yet come short of salvation by Him, because they cannot find it in their hearts to forsake other things for Him. They love Him and yet leave Him, because they do not love Him enough, but love other things better. Thus the young man that went away from Christ went away sorrowful (Matthew 19:22) but Ruth clave unto her...Ruth puts an end to the debate by a most solemn profession of her immovable resolution never to forsake her, nor to return to her own country and her old relations again.



"Nothing could be said more fine, more brave than this. She seems to have had another spirit, another speech...it is an instance of the grace of God inclining the soul to resolute choice for the better part."



DETERMINATION AND DEDICATION

"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."

Here we have resolution, dedication, and conversion. "I have decided to follow Jesus! No turning back!" Ruth's loyalty and determination resound through the ages and provide a solid testimony and inspiring example to each one of us.
Ruth presents a most admirable testimony. She is modest, meek, courteous, loyal, responsible, gentle, and yet decisive. Ruth always seems to be doing the right thing at the right time. And she does it gracefully. Ruth never swerves from her unselfish purpose during the many trials that followed. She did not seem to complain because she had given up everything: her country, her relationships or the chance to marry a man from her own country. She gave up everything with the resolution of fierce quietness.



RESOLUTION

At this, when Naomi saw that she was determined, she stopped trying to persuade her to change her mind. They both turned their faces resolutely towards Israel, the young and beautiful Ruth, and the old and wise Naomi.



A DIFFICULT JOURNEY

The distance they had to travel was under 200km, but this represented a long fatiguing and dangerous journey. For two women alone, with neither money nor protection, with no transport, they had to ascend mountains and descend into deep valleys on foot, crossing the Arnon and Jordan rivers. The journey would have taken them to desolate places, which would have tried them severely.



A NEW BEGINNING

They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. This was the first of the harvests, with the wheat harvest following shortly thereafter. They now had an opportunity to provide for the coming winter.



GLEANING

When we take God for our God, we must take His people for our people and having cast in our lot with them, we must be willing to take our part with them, enjoying both the good and enduring the bad. In Bethlehem, in order to support herself and her mother-in-law, Ruth performed the lowliest of tasks. Gleaning was a provision in the poor laws of Israel. The poor were allowed to follow the reapers and gather up the fragments of grain, which fell, or were left behind, for the poor. This was no free handout; it was back straining, long and hard work. Plainly, Ruth had a high work ethic. Her humility and industry were evident to all. She worked long and hard, from early till late, only resting once in the shade. As the servants testified: "...she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house." (2:7) "So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley." (2:17)


IN THE FIELD OF BOAZ

Here we also see the hand of God's providence. "And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech." (2:3)
Boaz is described as a mighty man, of great wealth, mighty in the law. The name Boaz means 'in Him is strength.'
The first time we read of Boaz he is coming to encourage the reapers: "The Lord be with you!" And they answered him: "The Lord bless you!" (2:4). Boaz is evidently not only a diligent master, but also God honouring believer. He is also observant and concerned as he asked after the gleaner, Ruth.



THE GENEROSITY OF BOAZ

Boaz encouraged Ruth and generously made provision for her: "Then Boaz said to Ruth, 'You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field, which they reap and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn...It has been fully reported to me all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under Whose wings you have come for refuge.'" (Esther 2:8-12)
Boaz was kind to Ruth and showed her favour. He ordered his servants to be respectful to her and helpful. He commended her diligence on behalf of her mother-in-law, and prayed a blessing from the Lord God upon her labours.
Boaz was evidently a man of God, a man of intelligence and observant. He appreciated Ruth's quiet industry, her modesty and purity. He made many provisions for her, and invited her to join his workers for the mid-day meal. When Ruth returned to Naomi at the end of the day with a bushel of barley, Naomi questioned her closely, and declared: "Blessed be the one who took notice of you...blessed be he of the Lord who has not forsaken his kindness to the living and the dead!" (2:19-20)
When she hears that the man who has favoured her so is Boaz, Naomi exclaims: "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives."



A KINSMAN REDEEMER

The Law of God provided for a close relative to be a kinsman redeemer to avenge wrongful death in a case of murder (Numbers 35:19-21); to buy back property which a poor relative many have been forced to sell to settle their debts (Leviticus 25:25); to redeem relatives who had been sold into slavery to settle their debts and set them free (Leviticus 25:47-49); and to marry the widow of a deceased relative (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
And while Naomi, makes her schemes in order to provide for Ruth a bright future, the Law of God had already done so. Boaz did not actually need to be manipulated into doing his duty by a mother-in-law's schemings; he was committed to doing the right thing anyway.
Naomi advises Ruth to place herself at the feet of Boaz and seek his protection as a kinsman redeemer.
"I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are our close relative." (3:9)
"Then he said, 'Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after the young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.'" Ruth 3:10-11
"I will perform the duty for you. As the Lord lives!" (3:13)
Upon hearing the report back from her daughter-in-law, Naomi declared: "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day." (3:18)
Boaz displays honourable and businesslike character traits, going to the gates of the city before the elders and challenging the closer relative as to whether he was willing to fulfil his duty, then publicly informing all that he had the intention of becoming engaged to Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be his wife.



A GOD HONOURING MARRIAGE

Some have tried to describe the romance in Ruth as an example of a mixed marriage. Of course, it was nothing of the sort. The people of Moab were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham.
The rabbis teach that Ruth had golden red hair and warm eyes, and that Scriptures tell us that David had red hair.And Ruth was a convert to Jehovah; she had embraced the people, the culture, the language and the God of Israel. This was neither an interracial marriage, nor an interfaith marriage. In the word of the Psalmist, Ruth could say: "I have chosen the way of Truth, I have set my heart on Your laws." Psalm 119:30
In the same way as Moses chose to be "mistreated with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." Hebrews 11:25, Ruth had turned her back on the idolatry of Moab and had embraced the God of Israel. The book of Ruth is about wise choices. Many years before Joshua had challenged the people of Israel: "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my household we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
As Solomon had prayed: "So give your servant a discerning heart to...discern between right and wrong." 1 Kings 3:9, so both Ruth and Boaz evidenced a discerning heart.
As our Lord Jesus commented: "Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her." Luke 10:42


A MISSIONARY CALL

The story of Ruth is a type of God's call to the gentiles. God's Sovereignty is seen throughout this beautiful story. We can see how everything was done in the light and in accordance with God's Law. Ruth was lifted out of obscurity and poverty to influence and prosperity. From the marriage of Ruth and Boaz sprang an auspicious lineage, the house of David (Matthew 1:5). Before the birth of her son Obed (which means servant) Ruth was assured that her child's name would be "famous in Israel" (Ruth 4:4).
Naomi was told that the child would be a nourisher of her old age. Her neighbours, rejoicing with her declared "and may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old-age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." Ruth 4:15


AN ANCESTOR OF DAVID

And Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. And so Ruth, the Moabitess, who had chosen to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Bethlehem, and who had embraced the God of Israel, became the great-grandmother of King David, and an ancestor of the Messiah Himself.



"Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you will lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16

Dr. Peter Hammond

The complete audio CD of this message is available from:
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Livingstone Fellowship
PO Box 74, Newlands, 7725, South Africa
Tel : (021) 689-4480 Fax : (021) 685-5884
Email: info@ReformationSA.org

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servant

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Sep 3 11 10:26 AM

Another Kinsman Redeemer testimony


http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Testimonies/witch.htm

You asked how I got into witchcraft (and yes, absolutely, it DOES work!)--well, it's in the family to begin with. All women in my mom's family were witches from day 1. She's German (a war bride) and lived thru WWII. Her hatred of God is unbelievable. She would always tell me her war stories when I was growing up--imagine telling a 4, 5 year old kid about shot up people and bombs and bullets going off everywhere. Her favorite one is where the street melted from the heat of the fires and bombs...a woman was stuck in the melted street holding a baby up high trying to save it from the flames. There was no way to save them and she cried out to God to help them. Nothing happened. She watched the woman and baby burn up before her eyes. As she tells the story, you can see evil taking over her. She shakes her fist to heaven and says "where was God?". Of course that proves he doesn't exist.

Well, it wore me down and by age 8, I had had enough of this "God" that either (a) did not exist or (b) was so unimaginably horrible, I would hate him too. That night I cursed God (age 8) and decided I would follow Satan. Don't laugh--my entry point into the occult was fairy tales. I studied those things and learned about trolls, magic wands, fairies, elves, witches, spell casting...all from fairy tales. Spirit guides were assigned to me by age 12 and I really took off. Yes witchcraft works. It's all about power and control and the power is INSTANT. Immediate gratification.

The price is high. I had an abortion on Walpurgisnacht 1979 (my present husband's baby). I didn't schedule the appointment for that date--it "happened"--a Satanic present. And I had a D & E. It brought me to my knees 5 years later, calling on a God I wasn't even sure existed. I asked to be sent to hell because I deserved to go there and serve my lord Satan for killing a baby. I have never in my life experienced such an agony and literally "breaking" of my heart. The sobs were uncontrollable. I felt something gentle and warm "washing" over me like water, but I wasn't wet. There was a calm and peace that entered me.

I knew I had to get rid of my occult things so I threw away everything--books, jewelry, tarot cards, toys I bought for the kids (He Man, My Little Pony--I even stripped the sheets off the kids beds because of the pictures on them). I went wild cleaning house--there were 19 trash bags out in front of the house next day. I got a King James Bible and devoured it. I read most of the day. After I read the Bible thru once, I began again. I lived and breathed Jesus Christ.

Here I am 14 years later and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for cleaning me up and setting me on my feet and covering me with himself. Thank you Lord Jesus! I am free of Satan!

Please use anything I have, say or write as you need to...there certainly ARE lots of witches and druids out there. They are young and very well educated as far as the world's standards go. They are wise in evil and their foolish hearts want only to discover themselves with all their self esteem mess. What do we expect? After throwing the Bible out of the state schools in 1962 (was it?) or 1963, we have not become atheists (there is no such thing). We have turned to magic and the occult. We have lost an entire generation to Satan and it's only going to get worse.

When I was in the occult, I had an elitist mentality and felt special and chosen. There was power and control over people, yet I was always depressed. Death was my constant companion--I almost died of spinal meningitis as a kid (after coming out of a coma, the doctors said I'd be paralyzed and never walk again, but I did), later on in life, at 16 I tried to commit suicide and failed. In my 20's, there were always "close calls", accidents that seemed to have my name on them.

In my 30's, I lost several children to late miscarriage (consequence of abortion) and almost bled to death on 3 separate occasions. Depression and violent rage tormented me. I hated everyone and became suspicious and paranoid.

Devils would talk to me, torment, scare, mock me. I heard the voice of Satan himself say to me "Dedicate yourself to the craft. You belong to me". How true. I did belong to him even though I denied he existed. Of course witches don't believe in a devil--it's just a Christian "invention". Yeah, right. I was a vegetarian because I respected life--animals and mother earth. Yet I didn't hesitate to kill a 17 week unborn child by D & E (dilation and evacuation but doctors call it dismemberment and evisceration). How's that for respecting life?

I was always empty inside. Always looking for something and never finding it. Maybe I needed to learn astrology or runes...no, maybe crystals and healing. Always searching but coming back empty.

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for delivering me from the power of Satan. Problems still come. In the parable of the man who built his house on sand and the man who build his house on the Rock, the storms of life came to BOTH. The difference is, the man who built on sand had a great fall into hell. The wise man on the Rock was saved by falling on the Lord Jesus and allowing his evil self to be ground to powder, instead of stroking his selfish esteem, he put it to death on the cross with Jesus.

Life is not easy. This is a battlefield soaked in blood and tears. Thank God, it's not our home. Now, when misery comes, and I assure you it does, I remember I am nothing. Christ is everything. I am dead to my old self but alive in Christ. The Creator of the universe, a royal King, humbled himself and came down to earth under kinsman-redeemer law to buy us back with his blood. How he must have suffered on that cross for a wretch such as me who cursed and blasphemed him. I broke his precious heart in the most agonizing misery and painful death ever invented in this universe. His love and mercy are beyond human comprehension--it is alien to us. This helps me when I'm down. I have a living and loving God who picks me up when I stumble. All Satan ever did to me was use me, hurt me, mock me. Where will Satan be when you drop into hell unsaved?

The Lord Jesus is beyond price. He is worth ANYTHING you have to give up, turn your back on...whatever. Even if it costs you your life...what is that? Follow Jesus. Satan laughs at God every time someone goes to hell, because he knows it hurts God. Why would any one want to serve such a malevolent being? Eternity is a long time.

May the Holy Spirit use anything I say to change hearts and bring people to repentance. Thank you Jesus for your mission to earth and your constant intercession for us..


______________________



Take A Journey

Take a journey back in time and space
Before time was known or space realized
To the beginning before the beginning
Where all that Was, was, and ever shall be

This Was that ever shall be Is all that is
This Spirit of holiness was vastness therein
The yearning of this very Spirit was to create
To create a creation to become a companion

This Spirit began the holy desire to make thus so
By the knowledge of a need of a Redeemer
To make communion possible for all creation
This Redeemer was called from the Concentrate

This Spirit, this vastness that cannot be contained
Retained it's wholeness while concentrating on
Being the Creator that Created this Wisdom
That would be the Way to create all in existence

This Word would then become flesh, a Kinsman
A Redeemer to gather those who were lost
Those who had gone astray while being deceived
To Redeem them to a communion with this One

But this One knew the end from the beginning
The Word became flesh and would become King
The Redeemed have a part in this His Kingdom
Not only to be united but to walk as joint heirs

The position in this Kingdom then is obtained
Not by pomp and circumstance as in the world
But by the Truth and humility known of the Savior
Through this peculiar meekness these will reign

The Kingdom of the Most High in reality is now
The powers of darkness and principalities to trump
Is what is required to hone the skills of His own
So that His will may be done here as in Heaven

All are thus invited to partake in this New Life
A life with a promise of a glorious future to behold
But one of sacrifice, loyalty, obedience and charity
Beyond what we are now able to comprehend

This New Life will be scoffed at by many to and fro
For thus the veil of deceit and hardness of heart
Keep them from this humility required to enter
And exchange their life for that of the Savior .

12.25.09

Pro 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

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quasar

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Posts: 3,360

#3 [url]

Sep 3 11 6:55 PM

Thank you for your poignant testimony, servant.  It takes a great deal of courage to publicly devulge all the sorded details you have been willing to share with us.  May God richly bless you for finding your way out of the maze and into the Light, at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, who saved you.  To help others see the horrible dangers you vividly experienced yourself, with the hope it will spare some of falling into the same pit you did, and even more important, to save some who are already in the pit and see your testimony.


God Bless!


Quasar

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servant

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#4 [url]

Sep 3 11 8:52 PM

This testimony was from another person, but it follows very closely with my experience as well.

Pro 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

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quasar

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Posts: 3,360

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Sep 4 11 6:24 AM

WOW!  Are your forebears from Germany?  On my paternal side of the family, one set of great grandparents came from the Weimer region of Germany.  Originally Saxweimer in Prussia.  The other set of great grandparents came from the Alcaise-Lorraine, France region, in which great grandma was German and great grandpa was French, from which my sur name derives.  Great grandpa from Weimer was in the Prussian Navy and had to obtain the Kaisers permission to immigrate to the USA.  On my maternal side of the family, they are Scotch/Irish/English.

If your life was anything like the testimony you gave, it was indeed a terrible way to have to begin your life and you are still to be highly commended for somehow finding the Lord.  How did that take place, servant?

Blessings,


Quasar

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servant

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#6 [url]

Sep 4 11 9:41 PM

LOL, no, not from Germany. Husband's family is though. He's also part Polish. Jokingly calls himself a stubborn idiot. Sometimes the name is right on target though. ;)

The way her testimony is close to mine, is that we both were mired deep in the occult, and it was the name of Jesus and faith that God the Father's will would be done after I reached a desperate place.

Some Christians will say that we should only have to come to Jesus once and "give our lives to him, and let him in our hearts" (which are all nice sounding, but not the gospel) and all should be "fixed" right away. This really is not true. We don't go from black to white in a day.

Something that has occurred to me in the last month. There are stages of coming to know the Lord. First is a trust in Him for salvation. Then there is a trust in Him to be your Lord. A vast difference there is between the two, and for me it has taken quite a long time to walk through those steps.

Pro 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

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