Thursday, November 5, 2015

Devotion 11.6.15

A friend of mine and I will sit, from time to time, and discuss who has more redneck blood in them.  It is almost like a top-the-bat exercise.  Murder (the death of someone at the hands of someone else)?  Yes, that's in the family tree.  Arrests?  Yes, they exist.  Work in a very blue collar means?  Meat-cutter, oil field work, rig work.  It's all there.  Honky tonks, beer, and other such shenanigans?  Yep, there as well.  I remember well a father coming to my office when I worked in central office in Houston, nervous as he could be.  "I don't talk well with you educated types."  When we were done, he stood up and looked at me and said, "This may have been the best visit I've ever had with you educators."

I knew his language.  The language of a blue collar dock worker/meat cutter/average guy.  I spoke it, and I'm not ashamed of it at all. It's who I am, but why should I be ashamed?  Look at scripture.  Disobedience to God in a setting of perfection.  Murder.  Lying to a father and faking a son's death because of extreme jealousy and hatred of the brother.  Being anointed as the father of Israel and not trusting God so laying down with your maidservant to have a child.  Incest.  I'm only to chapter 20 in Genesis by the way.  The Bible is filled with disobedience to God's plan and God working through that disobedience to deliver his plan of redemption.

Ruth, however, is a refreshing book about faithfulness in the midst of some of this.  In the end, Boaz, who has found favor with Ruth, goes to a "redeemer" to (legally and presumably in a manner pleasing to God) take Ruth as his wife.  In doing so, he takes all of Naomi's estate to care for and marries Ruth in the process and they have a son.  Ruth, faithful to Naomi to the end, has been rewarded for her faithfulness although the journey was hard.  Loss of loved ones.  The son that Ruth has will have a grandson named David. (Ruth 4)

Faithfulness can come with a cost.  Faithfulness to God may mean leaving behind some earthly pleasures.  Faithfulness may mean staying with someone or something when it doesn't seem as fun or popular as it once did.  It may mean leaving behind some old ways we enjoyed in order to be faithful to the one we love because it is what God called us for.  In the end, God's plan of salvation goes beyond David to our deliverer and redeemer, Jesus Christ, who is faithful to us at the cost of his own life.  His resurrection to redeem us comes at a great sacrifice in which we neither did nor deserved anything.

"Great is thy faithfulness" the hymn goes.  We ask God for a measure of faithfulness out of response to the faithfulness he has shown us.

Hope Men's Ministry

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