Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Story of Ruth: Chapter 1 Your Tribe

Let's face it family can be complicated.  Mostly made up of a group of people randomly thrown together through marriage and the unlikely combination of DNA and genes that intertwine them.  Family, it's a whole thing right?  My family has some very interesting dynamics.  I have the Fuller side who are pretty much all extroverted (except my step-mom bless her heart she's stuck with all of us) and some of whom are extroverted introverts which is like a real thing and very complicated. The Fuller side brought me to Jesus.  Then I have the Foster side, which is my mom's side.  We are all pretty much sassy in our own right over on the Foster fence.  Full of strong, fierce women, the Foster side has fought hard to get their family where it is today.  They have taught me how to be strong, stand up and stand in for my family.  The Foster side also brings in my Grandaddy who passed away this year.  He was one of my favorite people.  The Foster side taught me that family is a person who walks in the front door.  There are no thick blood lines there are no walls up, just a welcome hug and sweet tea in your hand.  This is why I would say that my family has become more of a tribe than a family.  We are missed matched, some are here by marriage, some are here because they don't have a family so they have ours, some are here through a series of strange happenings that I don't even know the details to but I still call them aunts, uncles or grannies.  The Ferrell's bring a beautiful dynamic of a more quiet, serving support which has taught me so much. I wouldn't have my family any other way.

This is where we find Ruth in the Old Testament of the Bible as we launch into our 2 week study of our sister Ruth (take a minute to read Ruth Chapter 1). A brief intro of Ruth will tell us that she basically enters the story a destitute widow of the wrong kind of people. Ruth was a Moabite and had married outside of her tribe.  When we meet her we are walking into her tragedy immediately.  She has lost her father in law, brother in law and husband one right after the other.  Leaving the women with no men, which back in these days was a really big deal.  Through this tragedy we meet Ruth's mother in law, Naomi.  Naomi really has taken the hardest blow here. She has basically had to walk through the death of her entire family at this point. Shes in a foreign country with two sad, scared little girls Ruth and Orpah.  This is where we see Ruth make family her tribe.  In verses 10-14 we hear Naomi telling the girls she basically has nothing to offer them and she urges them to go back to their people.  Which really would leave Naomi completely alone, but she is wanting the best for them. Right here is where we find some of the most beautiful verses in the Old Testament (personal opinion)

16 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"

She is pledging her life to Naomi no matter what that means to her!  In our society mother in laws get such a bad wrap.  Ladies, I love my mother in law. Linda Ferrell is the kindest most loving woman.  I am so blessed and happy to be in her tribe. Here we see, Ruth pledging to leave all opportunity to re-marry and to have safety and provision in order to stay with Naomi.  We also just saw a HUGE thing happen to Ruth.  She pledges her life to God, even though she doesn't know yet exactly what that means at this time. When she pledges her life to Naomi she also chooses to follow her God, which just so happens to be the God of the Universe. Coincidence, I think not.  This decision will not only change Ruth's life on Earth for the better, which we will see play out through the next few chapters, but her name ends up in the lineage of Jesus and she gets to spend eternity in Heaven. Huge decision here for her.

Family, it's a whole thing right?  I didn't get to talk about the Jacobs side of my family.  Grandma Nancy is my sons grandma.  She loves him with the fire of a thousand suns, rightfully so, he is her grandson. The flip side of that coin is she loves me and my boys and my husband.  She treats us as her family and she doesn't have to.  She gives my kids baths, she buys us Christmas presents, she feeds us and sometimes we stay at her house and her at ours. She is in our tribe by choice.
You see family is who you fight for. It's who you stick with.  Naomi and Ruth maybe didn't see eye to eye on all the things.  They probably voted for different presidents in the last election.  Naomi likely wanted Ruth to have some babies, maybe that was sore spot. However, here in just the first chapter we see them choose each other no matter what.  They became for each other and because of that love relationship God was glorified and their lives were blessed.

What's your tribe look like?  Are you harboring bad feelings for your mother-in-law or that brother that stepped on your toes the last family gathering?  Let's decide that we are going to fight for the family unit again.  Let's fight for our tribes and stop letting the world break them apart over silly things like who makes the jello mold this year at Thanksgiving. Satan hates family. He was to destroy it.  Lets shout out loud, where you go I will go, your people will be my people. Love on your mother in law today and that tricky brother. Grow your tribe in love!

Today is a beautiful day for restoration, go restore those hurts so you can walk together down the road to the next chapter, BEAUTIFULLY MADE and all!

Much Love,

See you in a few days for Ruth Chapter 2, where we meet Ruth's new man!!!

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