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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: Cling To and Hang On For Dear Life!
By Deborah Caruso
05/14/08


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Spending time with in-laws can be challenging. Itís like mixing apples with oranges. There is a story about in-laws in the bible; in the book of Ruth. Ruth was the daughter in law of Naomi, and so was Orpah. Ruth and Orpahís husbands had died and so had Naomiís. Naomi told her daughter in laws to go back to their motherís houses. Ruth stayed; Orpah departed. Ruth was steadfastly minded to stick by her mother in lawís side. Why would Ruth choose her mother in law over her own motherís house? Ruth was a Moabite, a people much different than Naomiís. They had different ways, and different gods. Naomiís God was Jehovah God, the God of Israel. Ruth found a treasure when she was introduced to Naomiís God, so much that she was willing to leave all that she was accustomed to and follow Naomi to a strange land. It took faith for Ruth to stick by her mother in law, and go to this new place.

So what was the outcome of Ruth clinging to and hanging out with Naomi and her kin, those who served the God who stretched out the heavens as a curtain? Naomi had a kinsman, named Boaz, who was very wealthy. When Boaz saw Ruth in his field gleaning ears of corn, he told her not to glean in any other field, but stay by his maidens, to keep her eyes on the field that they reap, and follow them: Ruth asked him why she had found such grace in his eyes, seeing she was a stranger. Boaz told her that he had heard how she had treated her mother in law since the death of her husband: How she left her father and mother, and the land of her birth, and followed Naomi to a land and people she had never known. He told her the Lord she had come to trust would reward her for this.

Who are we clinging to and hanging out with? Are we clinging to those that follow life or death, promises or lies? God tells us to cling on to, hold on to, and reach out to things that will not make sense to this world. Ruth told Naomi she would never leave, nor return from following after her. She had decided to follow Naomi and her people were now her people, and Naomiís God, was now her God. She told Naomi she wanted to die where she died and there be buried. What a declaration! What a decision!

When we decide to follow Jesus, we have to be willing to leave houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wives, children, lands for His nameís sake. He said we would receive hundredfold and also inherit everlasting life. When we do this, we die where Christ died and there our old man is buried. We are now raised with Him and have a new life. Our new man longs to cling to and hang out with life; that life that made us brand new. Being positive is actually clinging to this abundant new life. We have been bought with a great price, with the precious blood of Jesus Christ to an inheritance incorruptible and that will never fade away, reserved in heaven for us.

Ruth found the greatest of treasures when she found Naomiís God, and she was not about to let that treasure go. Boaz found a treasure in Ruth and he purchased her to be his wife, and they had a son to raise up the name of the dead. His name was Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse; Jesse was the father of David; and it was this family line that would eventually bring to us all our treasure, Jesus Christ! Are we clinging to this treasure or are we hanging on to our old life? Let us be like Ruth and cling to and hang on for dear life.
Book of Ruth, (KJV)


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Glynis Becker 05/16/08
Thanks for reminding me again how important it is to stay focused on the big things in life. The story of Ruth is full of so many truths...thanks for sharing!
Dee Yoder 05/16/08
The Bible's perfect example of in-laws! Thanks for sharing this and reminding us of their devotion to each other.
Phyllis Inniss 05/19/08
You did a good job of showing us the importance of hanging on to the things that are important in this story of Ruth and Naomi. The blessedness that fell to Ruth by staying with her mother-in-law through thick or thin went far beyond what she or Bible readers would have imagined.