Bible Couples: Ruth and Boaz
Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!”Ruth 2:4
Just as a rising tide lifts all the boats, so a revival lifts our marriages. As the book of Ruth opens, the Israelites are facing a severe drought, which, in the Old Testament, indicated the judgment of God. One family fled to Moab, and there they died, except the wife and mother, Naomi. She returned to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, and evidently a revival was underway. When the landowner, Boaz, went out to survey his fields, he shouted to his workers, “The LORD be with you!” They shouted back, “The LORD bless you!” Within that context, Boaz and Ruth fell in love, married, and produced a son who became the ancestor of Christ.
A true revival is hard to find nowadays. But even without a national awakening, we can keep a healthy spiritual atmosphere around our homes. We can be faithful to a vibrant church, and we can keep our own souls revived.
In a healthy marriage, a husband and wife understand the importance of personal spiritual vitality. They frequently say to each other in word or deed: “The Lord be with you today!” Or, “Praying the Lord blesses you!”
A Single Thought: Trials are not discriminating—they offer the same challenges to both the young and old, married or single—demonstrating God’s faithfulness to all.
Having God’s “Unreasonable” Faith
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. —Matthew 6:33
When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “…seek first the kingdom of God….” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.
“…do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.
It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.
Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them. Biblical Psychology, 189 L