July 31, 2018
I decided to switch things up a bit for this month’s #joellesreads edition! I’ve really been enjoying digging deeper into scripture lately, so I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned in different books of the Bible that I’ve been reading. Some of them are super cool!
There were two specific things that really stood out to me when I read Ruth, and they’re both within the first chapter.
- The example we set will impact how others view God
- Wanting a relationship with God is different than *pursuing* a relationship with God. It takes action.
The first point is shown through the way that Ruth latches onto Naomi (“Your people will be my people and your God my God” Ruth 1:16)
The second one is shown when Naomi decides to go back to Bethlehem when there was a harvest again. God had promised that there would always be plenty of food in the land if Israel was obedient. So the fact that there was a famine in the first place meant that things had gotten pretty bad (this was also during the time of the Judges which is explained as “everyone thought their way was the right way”). When Naomi and her husband, along with their two sons, decided to leave the famine they went further towards a part of the country that was more secular (which God had warned Israelites not to go towards). So, it took guts for Naomi to go back to Bethlehem! She knew that they hadn’t made the best decisions, but she also knew that she would never be able to enjoy a plentiful life where she was. She had to go to it.
Did you know that James was Jesus half-brother?! This totally threw me!
My favorite verse is in this chapter: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8) A large part of drawing near to God involves prayer. This is something I’ve been learning lately, to be more intentional in my prayers. James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” David Guzek points out in his commentary of the chapter that the purpose of prayer is not to persuade God to do what we want, but to align ourselves with His will. Y’all. There is so much power in prayer. I dare you to choose one thing that you desire in life and pray for it every day with intentionality and desire, and then see what happens.
Fun fact: Paul actually founded this church. He wrote this letter to the Thessalonians and in the first chapter points out something awesome. They’ve been such a good example of Christians that word about them has gone all over the world. Thessalonica was a big trading city so the whole region was talking about them. And positive things! Paul also points out that he himself was imitating Christ, and then the Thessalonians began imitating him…and now others could imitate the Thessalonica’s behavior. Kinda goes back to the point in Ruth – that our example can make or break someone’s view of Jesus. I mean, that’s big stuff.
Hopefully you enjoyed this twist on my favorite reads! I’ve got some good books up for next month’s edition so keep an eye out for that one next!
What are you reading right now?
Did you enjoy this post? You might also like these!