Kinsman Redeemer

cross on a hill

She was a Moabitess married to an Israelite and although God did not forbid their marriage, He did forbid any Moabite male or his sons to enter the assembly of  the LORD. Had there been any male offspring from this union they would have been forbidden to worship God in the assembly.

Within a span of 10 years she lost her father-in-law, her brother-in-law and her husband. She, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were left without their providers and protectors. As was the custom of the time the next eldest son was required to marry his widowed sister-in-law to carry on and protect the inheritance of the deceased brother’s name and estate. Except in her story there wasn’t a next eldest son.

Her name is Ruth and her story is full of redemption.

After the menfolk of these ladies had passed, Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, decided to journey back to Jerusalem because she heard God had ended the famine, which had caused Naomi, her husband and sons to move and settle in Moab years before. Naomi strongly encouraged her daughters-in-law to go back to their fathers homes. One of them did but Ruth would not leave Naomi’s side and Ruth spoke some of the most beautiful words in Scripture to Naomi.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16,17.

While the Moabites were actually relatives of the Israelites; Moab was the son of Lot, who was the nephew of Abraham, Ruth would have mostly likely grown up worshipping many gods and idols, which was customary of the culture she lived in. Being in a mother/daughter in-law relationship, Naomi and Ruth would have spent a lot of time together, they quite possibly lived together or within close proximity of one another. I imagine they prepared meals, washed clothes and took care of their families together. Naomi must have lived her life in such a way of sharing God with Ruth that when there really was nothing left to bind them together Ruth commits to making Naomi’s God her God. A glimmer of God’s redemption.

Fast forward in Ruth’s story to her future husband Boaz who becomes her kinsman redeemer. There are certain aspects of the kinsman redeemer process but what I want to share with you is the beautiful and intimate scene that takes place on the threshing floor. After Boaz had lain down for the night Ruth quietly approached and pulled back the cover from his feet and laid down. When Boaz awoke he realized Ruth was laying at his feet. Ruth asked Boaz to pull the corner of his garment over her. This was Ruth’s request that Boaz be her kinsman redeemer and marry her. The short of it is that he said yes! A glimmer of God’s redemption.

A few nights ago as I was saying my nightly prayers I was praising God, Jesus and Holy Spirit individually for Who they are as the attributes came to mind. When I came to Jesus I thanked him for being my Kinsman Redeemer. I have never thanked Jesus for this and while he is my Redeemer I have never thought of him as my Kinsman Redeemer.

One of my friends and I are praying for two sweet and special ladies who are going through a similar challenge. As I was thanking Jesus for being my Kinsman Redeemer he showed me that he places the edge of his robe over these two sweetie pies, who belong to Him and are His Bride and does the same for every believer in Christ.

Boaz and Ruth went on to have a son named Obed and Obed had a son named Jesse and Jesse had a son named David, who became a king; the king of Judah. There was a man, a distant relative of the king of Judah, named Joseph, who also came from the tribe of Judah and married a virgin named Mary and they had a son who became King. The Kinsman Redeemer. The full brilliance of God’s redemption.

Shalom!

 

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The Holy Highway

classic scene of a highway in rural area at the sunsetA few weeks ago, while studying something else, I came across Isaiah 35:8. I love how the Holy Spirit redirects my attention when he has something special to show me and wants to bless me with His words!

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. Isaiah 35:8

I’m sure I’ve read this verse many times and now the researcher in me was intrigued so I dug a bit deeper. Some translations refer to the Way of Holiness as the Holy Road or Highway of Holiness.

The word holy in this verse means holy, but it also means rarely abstract, which in turn means, concrete. Perhaps this is a reference to the roads that were built in ancient times between temples and only those who were ceremonially clean could travel upon them.

The original Hebrew word for Highway is derek (deh’-rek) and it means road, highway, journey or favor.

As I thought about this verse the Holy Spirit showed me this picture. The Way is a journey with favor but it is still a journey. It is a safe journey and can be a great distance but it is a journey in the right direction. We walk the Holy Highway because of our faith in Jesus and no one can make us leave the Highway. Deliverance is at the destinations end whatever the current journey looks like. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that makes us ceremonially clean and give us the authority to journey along the Holy Highway.

This caused me to think about my prayers and how each one is like a journey. Some requests allow us to skip along the Holy Highway and reach the end with a joyful outcome and then race back to the other end to start a new journey. Some prayers are like labor and delivery. Labor is where all the hard work is done and sometimes there is joy in the deliverance and sometimes there is grief.

We can be on multiple journeys at one time. Sometimes we are the cheerleader, spastically waving our hands (I speak from experience), jumping up and down and willing others on. Sometimes we are working hard and pulling the ropes in place of those who can’t.

Precious One, whatever your journey, if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Highway is yours to walk as often as you like. One foot in front of the other and one step at a time.

Shalom!

The Love Letter

Letter of love

My darling daughter, I have known you since before time began. You see, I knew you the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. I watched with delight as each part of you began to form. And, I kept shouting, “This is my girl!” “This is my princess!” And then that wonderful day arrived, the day you were born and I marked that date for all eternity, because you my princess, mean more to me that you will ever know.

I shouted to the world, “Come, look at my daughter, look at her beauty.” “Look at her tiny hands and her tiny feet.” Oh the plans I have for your life. Plans of hope, peace and joy. Yes, even during those challenging times in life you can have these things.

I have watched you grow from an infant to a toddler. I was there when you took your first step, you said your first word and your first tooth came in.

I was there when you were a child and those older kids made fun of you or called you names. My heart hurt more than yours and my love for you never faltered.

I was there when you got your first pair of glasses and when you had braces put on your teeth. I chaperoned your first dance looking out for you.

I went with you to high school and went to all your extra curricular events. No one was more proud than me when you scored your first basket, hit your first softball, swam your first lap, gave THE best speech ever! I was with you on those lonely nights when your friends were at a dance or hanging out at a friends house and you couldn’t. You see, my love for you has never faltered and I have always promised to never leave you.

You are adored. When I look at you, your beauty, from the inside out, strikes me. There is a strong family resemblance. You will always be the apple of my eye.

You are my beloved. My daughter there isn’t anything you could ever do to make me stop loving you.

You are worthy. You have grown into a woman of noble character. You are worth far more than rubies – you are priceless to me. In all you do, you work with eager hands.

Yes, I see that you get up early and retire late all for the sake of your family. I see.

You are blessed. Indeed, blessed are you among women simply because you are my daughter and I love you so.

You are chosen, yes, remember, I knew you before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb and I chose you. You my daughter bring me glory.

You are holy. Out of all the people on the earth I have chosen you to be holy. You are my treasured possession.

You are blameless. It is true you live in a distorted and twisted generation but you shine among this generation like stars in the sky.

You are accepted. You can come to me and I will accept you always. I am gentle and I will give you rest for your soul.

My beautiful daughter don’t you know? You are like a beautiful garden and I sing over you always. I nourish you day and night and watch over you non-stop.

 

You are mine and I love you.

 

 

 

 

The War Room

 

Pray Computer Keys Showing Worship And Religion

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to watch the movie War Room, in short, a movie about a woman, Miss Clara, who devoted her life to prayer and taught other women her method of praying. In reality she was sharing her deep faith and trust in God that led to this fantastic prayer life.

Prayer is one of my passions. I have been praying to God since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was raised in a different religion at the time but I had the faith of a small child that I was indeed praying to the God of heaven. I have dedicated times of prayer but mostly I talk to God all day long. Talking with Him helps me to feel connected to him.

But, let’s face it, at least for me, sometimes prayer can become a chore rather than a sweet and intimate time with the Lord.

I was reading through Ephesians 6:10-18, commonly known as, the Armor of God. In verse 18 we are instructed to pray in the Spirit on all occasions and with all kinds of prayers and requests.

I was taken by “pray in the Spirit” and did some investigating. I found that in the original Greek text Spirit means possessed, influenced or controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting.

Perhaps what causes prayer to become chore like is the fact that we are not asking the Holy Spirit to influence our prayers with his power in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting. This is so simple! I think the challenge is that in order to allow the Holy Spirit to influence us we have to surrender our will, our thoughts, our prayers and what the outcome of our prayers might look like. We have to place our trust in an unseen God with the faith he has blessed us with for the words given to us by the Holy Spirit in prayer.

Precious One, I am starting today to pray in the Spirit, in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting and waiting expectantly with great anticipation in my soul for the answer to my prayers. Will you?

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

Shalom!

 

The Knowledge Of Heart

heart_fkYdy8cO.jpgI love when I come across Scripture that tells me my identity in Christ because it helps me to know the truth of who God says I am versus the lies the enemy has spoken to me for years. When I come across identity truths my mind first grabs ahold of them and I begin to process, (I’m an internal processor), at the same time the Holy Spirit begins to permeate my heart, soul and spirit with the truth. Sometimes, many times, this can create a conflict within me; my mind knows and understands the truth but my heart refuses to believe the truth and so my mind and heart battle against one another. The Holy Spirit continues to whisper the truth over me and gently starts the healing process that eventually creates the shift from mind knowledge to heart knowledge.

Here is an interesting truth and a golden nugget to ponder for today or for many days. In John 17:9,10 Jesus says this:

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. John 19:9,10.

We read here that glory came to Jesus because of us! The ‘them’ in this verse is every believer in Christ. Jesus goes on to say this in John 17:22:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one -John 17:22.

Not only did we bring glory to Jesus but He gives us the glory God gave him because of us! You understand now why my brain needs to process before my heart can follow along.

The original Greek definition of glory is the unspoken manifestation of God and conveys his infinite and intrinsic worth. Simply stated glory is a divine quality that clearly shows God and speaks to his limitless (infinite) and genuine (intrinsic) worth.

Glory is true identity in every believer in Christ and it’s purpose is so that we may be one in Christ with each other just as Christ and God are one.

Precious One, you are glory. May you grab ahold of this truth, process it and walk in the victory of your identity in Christ.

Shalom!