RUTH'S TRUST IN THE FATHER'S LOVE
I am here, Jesus:
In this sermon, I continue to show you how the Old Testament of the Hebrews developed stories in which some of the characters act towards their fellow men in a spirit of love attesting to that human love which was implanted in mankind by God and was the forerunner of that sublime love which the Father has available for whomsoever of His children seek it in earnest prayer, so that, abiding in their souls, it will provide the salvation which, as the Messiah of God, I brought with me when on earth.
This story concerns Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth, who followed the old widow back from Moab to her native Bethlehem, in Judeah, from whence she had come with her two sons, at a time when famine dwell in the land of Palestine. And in Moab, Naomi, the widow, lived with her two sons and daughters-in-law until, given the harshness of the times, the two sons were stricken and she decided to return to her native land, with the thought that her daughters-in-law would perhaps find new husbands in their own country,
Now Ruth's sister-in-law, Orpah, returned to her people and to those gods which the Moabites of those times worshipped, and indeed, Naomi bade Ruth do likewise, but Ruth replied with those words which have become so soul-stirring in its religious appeal, not only in Hebrew, but in many languages all over the earth.
"Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ruth I, verses 16 & 17).
Now from those memorable words, it may be concluded that Ruth, the Moabite, daughter of a pagan people, had received some unusual or miraculous knowledge of the Father, to he able to thus forsake her own local gods and adhere to the God whose existence had been made known to her through her Hebrew husband and mother-in-law; and to a certain degree, this is true, but actually, the loving nature of the Father, to the extent that it was known to the peoples of those days, had become known to her through her relationship with Naomi. For Naomi was kind, and loving, treating her daughters-in-law with a solicitude and a tenderness, and a care for their welfare that brought out in Ruth a great feeling of love and devotion, and it was thus that she wanted to share the fortunes or vicissitudes with this woman who was to her like a mother. And it was these qualities of warmth of love and affection, of concern for Ruth and her interests, that made Ruth realize that here was a person who in her way of life manifested a soul that shone with the light of her loving Father in Heaven.
And so Ruth concluded, and she had had many years of life together with Naomi to come to this decision, that a good hearted woman such as Naomi could exist only if her Creator -- her God -- possessed the wonderful qualities of love and kindness which He had imparted to His creation, and since Naomi was a Hebrew, she knew in her heart that the God of the Hebrews was a God of Love, such as He manifested through His children.
And when Ruth made her abode in Bethlehem, she found that just as a Hebrew woman could he loving and kind to a degree not before experienced in her life, so could a Hebrew man be as tender and loving, whether he was her husband or not. For when Boaz saw her gleaning in his fields, his heart went out in sympathy for her, because of her unpretentiousness and her humility, her resigned acceptance of the harsh events in her life to which she had been subject, and her willingness to place herself at his mercy, caused her to find favor in his eyes. And again, he wished to repay her for all the kindness which she, though a pagan woman, had done unto Naomi, his kinsman, and he admired her for her courage in leaving her father and mother, and coming to live in a land of strangers. And he knew she had put her trust in the Heavenly Father, and being a religious man and endowed with a sense of reponsibility towards his goods, which he felt were a sort of trusteeship from the Father's bounty, he felt that her trust in the Father should not be in vain, but be rewarded. And Naomi said unto her daughter-hi-law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. (Ruth 2nd Chapter verse 20) And she was speaking of her kinsman Boaz.
The remainder of the story deals with the business deal whereby the nearer of kin was unable to redeem Naomi's field, in that it would mar his own inheritance, and thus it gave Boaz an opportunity to do so and also obtain Ruth as his wife, in accordance with the Hebrew law which permitted a next of kin to marry that man's wife or other eligible female.
And thus it was that through her love for Naomi, her mother-in-law, that Ruth, the pagan woman of Moab, left her native land and clung unto her and it was because of the kindness and love which Boaz saw in Ruths treatment of her dead brother's wife, that he himself appreciated the warm hearted qualities of the Moabite, and caused him to fall in love with her, regardless of her different race. The story then, has a certain relationship with that of Joseph, in that it demonstrates with what conviction the Hebrews of those days, as well as many sincere Hebrews of to-day, relied upon God's love and mercy to lift them out of the pit of evil fortune and troublesome times. For the goodness of Naomi, of Ruth and of Boaz, working together in harmony and human love, was able to surmount the vicissitudes suffered by the two women as a result of the hard times, in famine and pestilence, which then prevailed in those days of the Judges. And the final prosperity and happiness which succeeded the trials that beset the two women was seen as the hand of God in His great goodness and mercy, outstretched to deliver His children from the evils of the world. And in reading the story of Ruth, peoples have seen in the narrative the great influence which sincere human love and good-will, as the spiritual inheritance bestowed upon man with Gods creation of the human soul, possess in making right the wrongs brought about by the actions of material things as well as by those in whom the soul is dormant. So that Ruth is one of the great stories in the Old Testament which demonstrates the development of the human love as a love given to mankind by the Father, who, while his children love with a human love, loves His children with that Divine Love which is His Essence, and which is now available to all those who seek that Love in earnest longing and prayer.
Before concluding, I wish to point out a number of other aspects of the story which help make of it one of the great universal narratives, which has a bearing upon the nature of the Father as a God of Love. For while it appears in the Old Testament of the Hebrews and deals with a period of time affecting the lives of these people, yet the work is one that belongs to all children of the Father. For Ruth is not a Hebrew, but a woman of the Gentiles, and it demonstrates that the human being is worthy of love and affection, loyalty and kindness, without regard to his race or religion, and I might add the color of his skin,, for man is the child of the Father by virtue of his created soul, and to treat one another with love is to manifest the nature of the Father, at least to the degree it was then available to mankind, and show that God exists, through the works of His created beings. And for men to love one another with the Divine Love is to be a participant in that love with which the Father loves His children, and of us, both mortal and spirits, who possess love in our hearts, becomes at-one with the Father in that love to the extent of such possession.
As a conclusion, let me state that in its final form, edited many centuries after it was written down for the first time, it became a protest against the priestly prohibition of intermarriage between Hebrews and Gentiles at the time when the Babylonian Jews were permitted by Cyrus to return to rebuild Jerusalem. This caused considerable distress and hardship among people of mixed marriages the story of Ruth was a plea for love and tolerance and human values above strictly racial considerations.
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens
Our Father, who art in heaven, we recognize that Thou art all Holy and loving and merciful, and that we are Thy children, and not the subservient, sinful and depraved creatures that our false teachers would have us believe. That we are the greatest of Thy creation, and the most wonderful of all Thy handiworks, and the objects of Thy great soul's love and tenderest care.
That Thy will is, that we become at one with Thee, and partake of Thy great love which Thou hast bestowed upon us through Thy mercy and desire that we become, in truth, Thy children, and not through the sacrifice and death of any one of Thy creatures, even though the world believes that one is Thy equal and a part of Thy Godhead.
We pray that Thou will open up our souls to the inflowing of Thy love, and that then may come Thy Holy Spirit to bring into our souls this, Thy Divine Love in great abundance, until our souls shall be transformed into the very essence of Thyself; and that there may come to us faith -- such faith as will cause us to realize that we are truly Thy children and one with Thee in very substance and not in image only.
Let us have such faith as will cause us to know that Thou art our Father, and the bestower of every good and perfect gift. and that only we, ourselves, can prevent Thy love changing us from the mortal into the immortal.
Let us never cease to realize that Thy love is waiting for each and all of us, and that when we come to Thee, in faith and earnest aspiration, Thy love will never be with-holden from us.
Keep us in the shadow of Thy love every hour and moment of our lives, and help us to overcome all temptations of the flesh, and the influence of the powers of the evil ones, which so constantly surround us and endeavor to turn our thoughts away from Thee to the pleasures and allurements of this world.
We thank Thee for Thy love and the privilege of receiving it, and we believe that Thou art our Father -- the loving Father who smiles upon us in our weakness, and is always ready to help us and take us to Thy arms of love.
We pray thus with all the earnestness and sincere longings of our souls, and trusting in Thy love, give Thee all the glory and honor and love that our finite souls can give.
* The Prayer From Jesus
"The only prayer that is necessary is the prayer for the inflowing of this love; all other forms, or real aspirations of prayer are secondary, and of themselves, will not tend to produce this love in the souls of men.
This is the only prayer that men need offer to the Father. It is the only one that appeals to the love of the Father, and with the answer, which will surely come, will come all the blessings that men may need, and which the Father sees are for the good of his creatures.
So, my brothers, continue to pray and have faith, and in the end will come a bestowal of the love like unto that which came to the Apostles at Pentecost.
I will leave my love and blessings and the assurance that I pray to the Father for your happiness and love."
Your brother and friend,
* This Prayer is the one that Jesus taught his disciples when on earth as stated in a personal message through Mr. J. E. Padgett.
Go to Table of Contents
Return to Home Page