31 Days of Intentionality

Ruth {Day 22 – Intentionality}

Opps… between the women’s retreat, extra responsibilities at church, and a friend’s wedding this weekend, I completely forgot about blogging.  In any case, here’s October 22nd’s learnings about intentionality:

So tonight I was talking with some friends about the book of Ruth in the Bible. There are many words one might use to describe Ruth, and I do believe that “intentional” and “on purpose” should/could be some of them.

First of all, check out this passage that comes from a conversation in which Naomi, Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law, begs Ruth, a Moabite, to stay behind in Moab and remarry one of Ruth’s own people instead of following Naomi back to her home town:

“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return 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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.’  And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.” (Ruth 1:16-18)

Determination… one great aspect of intentionality.  But it doesn’t stop there for Ruth.

Once back in Bethlehem, Ruth was intentional about getting to work to try to provide for her mother-in-law.  Never mind that she was a foreigner and not well treated. Never mind that she too was a widow.  Never mind that she grew up in a culture that followed after many different gods and idols.  She intentionally set out to find protection and provision.

And she did.  She also was intentional about seeking wisdom from Naomi, who not only was her mother-in-law but her mentor in life and faith. She was intentional to follow all that she was told to do, including Naomi’s direction to find for them a kinsman redeemer.

In all of this, she intently focused on whatever duties God placed before her.  No one would have blamed her for staying back in Moab, finding another guy and settling in with a family.  But by being intentional in the ways of God, even when they were perhaps more difficult she, and Naomi, found great blessing.

God provided food for them for many harvest seasons through the generosity of Boaz and by leading her to his field.  God provided beyond what was expected for a foreigner to receive.  God blessed Ruth with a family though she was content to live for God even if that wasn’t the case.  God provided her a son, which would carry on the family name, restored Naomi’s joy, and ultimately became one more piece in the lineage of Jesus Christ himself, through who we too are redeemed.

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