Thursday, April 14, 2016

He awoke and... “What’s this!?” There was a woman in bed with him!

Wednesday 4-6-16   Las Grutas
Scripture reading:  Ruth 3 – 4   Psalm 64, 65      2 Cor 6
S=Scripture  O=Observation  A=Application  P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  Ruth 3:8-9 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.  And he said, "Who are you?"  So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." NKJV

O.  Obviously we have a love story developing here.  And Noemi devises a plan to accelerate the process.  She has her beautiful daughter in law, now a young widow, to dress up and use her best perfume and sneak in and crawl in bed with Boaz, who is a well-known noble and wealthy man... and who happens to be a relative of Noemi’s deceased husband.

Surprise! At midnight, no flashlights or candles around, Boaz awakes to find a woman in bed with him.  Shock!  He can’t see her, but without doubt can smell her perfume.  “Who!?  Who are you?”  She identifies herself.  He had met her only days before, and was highly impressed with her and showed her special kindness. 

Now what does he do?  He gives her a dozen roses... Well, no roses were available at midnight, so he fills her shawl with barley and sends her back to her mother in law while it is still dark.  “Don’t let this get out... or tongues will be wagging.”

There were strict rules in place back in those days about who takes responsibility for widows of relatives and there was another unnamed guy, an even closer relative that officially would have the first responsibility... and the first chance for this young widow.  So Boaz calls a meeting at city hall (city gate) complete with witnesses and gives this guy first dibs.  But Mr. Unknown, feels unwilling to take on this responsibility.  They exchange sandals while the witnesses are watching.  Boaz has cleared the deck.  He can now take this beautiful young thing as his wife.  And yes, she gives birth to the grandfather of King David... and a distant ancestor of Mary the mother of Jesus. 

A.  So, what does this mean to me?  It shows me the importance God gives to our heritage.  I know little or nothing of my great grandparents Schrock and Shanbeck, but they doubtless were devout Christians.  Both my grandfather, Cornelius Christian Shanbeck and my grandmother Mary Frances Schrock, on my mother’s side, were strong Christians.  On my father’s side, my grandfather William Frank Hiatt was a lay preacher with the Brethren Church... the only church in Mist, Oregon, where they homesteaded.  He was known as the circuit riding preacher in the area.  His wife, Malinda Orwig Hiatt was certainly a devout Christian, too, although I never met either of them.  If I had access to all my history, I am sure I would find many generations of dedicated Christians.  And then there was my praying father, Lester Hiatt and my mother, Rachel Hiatt, who spent decades of her best years seeking to save lost drunkards and visiting the sick and dying, trying to direct them into the saving arms of Jesus.  What a heritage!

P.  Oh Lord!  What a responsibility I have to be faithful to You and to carry on this wonderful heritage You passed on to me!  I know that my mother, who was not a preacher, will bring a procession of many people into those pearly gates... and may I, too, help many to become Your followers, Lord Jesus.  One day soon we will celebrate with Your angels.  Amen.


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