I Am His and He is Mine {Story Reading Ruth}

“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the Bridegroom joy in his bride.* 

She remembered the day these words made a simple Moabite girl the Hebrew’s bride.  Their union had been joy and gladness.  Joy in the sharing together of daily life, faith, and love.  Gladness from the habits embedded into their union by the rhyming and reasons of winks, grins, whispers, and the dancing of fingers within intertwined hands.  He was hers and she was his.

Now he was gone.  Who spoke the words that made her his widow?

But for a season she had been a bride of promise; blessed by the God that had cursed her nation.  Before him, she had never known blessing.  Never known the worship of a living God.  The kind of God that can find a wife for a Hebrew man within the courts of Moab.  A God who gives you a new life, a new heritage, and a new future. 

Yet here she was again, back to what she’d always known: Curses.  Her husband of promise, dead.  Her future, unknown.

Her mother-in-law was packing to leave.  She seemed to be packing up what little was left: hope, faith, the promises given to her people, the love of family.  “Return, my daughters.  Why should you go with me?

Ruth would be left only with the history of her people.  A people born out of a bad decision and cursed from their first cry.  A people accustomed to survival tactics; daily living to just barely survive the curse of Holy One.   There were no promises to which she could return. Many centuries before, her people had refused entry to the people of God.  Now it seems that God had refused her entry to the life of promise.

Ruth clung.”  No, she would not let go!  She had tasted the sweetness of the promise.  She had cleaved to the hope of her husband’s heritage.  She would not be letting go!  You can’t let go of love.  Love precludes the ability to just set it down like a common ball of string.  No, love wraps itself around you and won’t let you get away.  She was no longer the girl with ties to an unsavory history.  She was a woman looped round and round with rings of love by her new people and their God.  Her God.  If there was ever a time that she needed Him, it was now! At times like this, one must cling to God no matter how many miles must be walked as you are dragged behind with fingers clenching tightly round His heel.

Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge.  Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.”

Ruth.  A woman with a God of promise.  He had a given her a hope, a future, a promise.  She would not stay in Moab and watch her promise fade into the sunset.  She would go.  She would stir up faith in His greatness.  She would hope in His hope.  She would love what He loved.   It’s what a daughter of promise does.

Are you in a Moab land—a place of loss, grief, and curses?  Or maybe it’s a place of regret, bitterness, or loneliness.   It feels like the curtain of life is closing.  But could it be that, like as for Ruth, it’s opening?  Will you step out on the stage and walk into your promise?  Jesus is your promise.  In Christ, you are blessed.  In Christ, you have a future.  In Christ, you have hope.  In Christ, you are loved.  Take a step forward in this truth.  Walk out of your Moab—just one step at a time.  Walk today as a loved one of the Most High.  He is your bridegroom—in Him is your joy and gladness.  He is yours and you are His. 

“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship. May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the Bridegroom joy in his bride.* 

*Hebrew Wedding Vow

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