Summary: Yours truly aims to cast his spotlight on three instances in The Bible where the main characters’ in their relationship with another individual focused on invisible spiritual factors rather than the plainly visible physical ones’ for their own good!!!
Rising above the “see” level!!!
“Do the seeing really see” wondered aloud the popular blind author cum lecturer namely Helen Keller in one of her lectures reminiscing her interactions with the husbands who weren’t able to recollect immediately (on being quizzed by the inimitable Keller) as to the colour of their wives eyes’...women with whom they have been in a covenantal relationship for a few decades now. Seeing is a marvellous sense that the all-wise Creator has bestowed upon most of His creation (barring the plants). While being able to see is a wonderful experience in itself, it needs to be said that lasting, fruitful relationships are built upon not one sees physically in an individual but what one wisely perceives in him/her. The issue is do we really see all that “we need to see” in a person whatever be the circumstances or are our perceptions and the relationships thereof with a person built on external, materialistic factors. Simply put, in gauging a person (first step in the relationship building exercise) do we remain merely “at see level” (limiting our perception of an individual to what is physically visible) or do we rise “above see level”...meaning do we attempt to see beyond the physical realm whilst forming an opinion about him.
In this message, Yours truly aims to cast his spotlight on three instances in The Bible where the main characters’ in their relationship with another individual focused on invisible spiritual factors rather than the plainly visible physical ones’ even while deepening their bonds with the concerned. These perceptive souls’ would also subsequently reap the Divine blessings for their stunning actions borne out of wise perceptivity!!!
Welcome to a quite familiar “rags to riches” story of Ruth. Welcome once again to this timeless, touching story which throws up new insights every single time we study it. What was the turning point in this riveting “poverty to prosperity” account? Doubtless the moment set in stone so to speak is recorded in chapter 1, verse 16 wherein Ruth says, “I’m accepting my mother-in-law’s God as my God, mother-in-law’s people as my people.” By saying so, she walks virtually into the Sovereign and Secure hands of God (read Covenantal relationship).
What made her take that “leap of faith”? The events at the beginning of beginning of chapter 2 provide us with a clue. Ruth says that she would like to go and glean in some of the fields as per the Levitical law which states that “the reapers during the harvest should not pick up any stray grain or crop... it is for the poor and the widows and foreigners to come and glean…” (Lev 19:9). How could Ruth the Moabitess have known about this Law? Quite certainly, she would have become conversant about this thanks to her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi who would have surely educated her about the same. It is that familiarity with Naomi’s unique God of Covenant (Deu 8:18/ Neh 9:32) and His Word which accorded so much of importance to the “weak and poor” of the society at a time the universal social Law was “Might is right” that had made Ruth cling to her mother in law as iron-filings cling to the magnet. Amazingly so (one can say), since her mother-in-law herself had given the widowed Ruth the right to go back to her roots and remarry!!!
Ruth was from Moab where there were no such laws, which would take care of the poor and the needy, but even as she came to know more about God’s laws... His Word which was oriented towards the welfare of the poor and needy, she knew she was dealing with a God, who is different and that is what made her take that leap of faith. Virtually at a time when before her was the forlorn image of a poor, helpless widowed mother-in-law, Ruth perceived at that defining moment of decision-making something else!!! With this seemingly helpless woman was the very presence of God who had bound Himself into a covenantal relationship with her. By binding herself to her mother-in-law, she would be binding herself to that same benevolent God of her mother-in-law too!!!
Post this turning point in her life that the Redeemer God would
a) one day guide her steps not only to the field of Boaz, her Kinsman Redeemer (Psalm 37:23) but straight into the latter’s heart and
b) that one day she would one day become not only the co-owner of the very fields in which she went to glean (as a poor widow) but also be one of the pro-genitors of the Messiah Himself
is all now part of well-chronicled history (Matt 1:5).
But what was the “key” to all the “blessings” and the “privileges” which came rushing Ruth’s way? Her ability to rise above the normal “see level” and perceive in her mother-in-law all that would inspire her to throw in her lot with the latter.