The human heart aches to belong. The ache wrestles with life seeking companionship with something: The orphaned or abused child lays claim to family through any extending the smallest kindness. The teen chooses to follow, for better or worse, those inviting him into their circle; The adult attaches herself to whatever relationship will feed the need. Even our Almighty God longs for a people to call His own.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and thy shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Rev. 21:3.
The Book of Ruth relates one woman’s choice in the right direction to fill the need to belong. It began with an unlikely friendship, by today’s standard, between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law.
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” Ruth 1:16,17.
A SIDE NOTE
I am one blessed to have had a wonderful, godly mother-in-law that taught me about grace and forgiveness, of love in action. I miss her as much today as I did thirty years ago when the Lord called her home. But one day I will see her again.
BACK TO RUTH AND MY STORY
Ruth is the account of one Gentile woman’s adoption into the Jewish family by two choices; One, her marriage to a Jewish man, and the second continuing in that family after his death. Both choices were sealed by a covenant. Ruth is my story and it begins back in Genesis.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3.
Being young in years and faith, I became jealous of the Jewish people. I wanted to be among God’s chosen. I wanted to belong to this elite group of God’s. I wanted to be a Jew. I didn’t yet understand what Paul told the believers in Galatians 3:6-8, 26-29.
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (That was me) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith(That’s me now!) are blessed with faithful Abraham…
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus(That’s any who believe).. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
God did not choose Abraham to the exclusion of all others, but to the inclusion of all by faith. The Book of Ruth gently reminds us, Gentiles are not forgotten in His plan. He has made the way for all to belong to Him, to be His children.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God…For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 1:12,13; 3:16.
DOES YOUR HEART LONG TO BELONG?
There is only one way to find peace for the longing.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Unlike Ruth’s covenant with Naomi which ended with death, death has no power over God’s covenant.
”For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38,39.