Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ruth vs Jonah

Tonight I studied the books of Ruth and Jonah. To me both stories contrast to demonstrate that God's will is always perfect and will be done no matter what. If you run away and don't follow God, you will miss out on many of God's blessings- but still His will be done. If you obey even when situations seem ridiculous, unfair, or impossible- God will bless and His will be done.

Jonah tries to run away from God's calling to Him. He hears God's voice clearly- He knows what Christ wants from His life- but He does everything He can to avoid God, trying to escape on a boat to a far away land. It doesn't work. God does crazy things- and has a whale swallow him and eventually he ends up in Nineveh- the same place God was calling him from the very beginning.

Ruth has to be a devout Christ- follower to demonstrate such love and faith in God. She goes where Christ is calling her- to a foreign land to comfort Naomi. It does not make sense for her to go because she does not have a boyfriend or husband to be or money or family where she is going. Yet despite what seems stupid and horrible conditions, God provides a man for her life and safety, food, and comfort.

Both stories do not make a lot of sense and seem ridiculous if we really think about it. I mean Jonah- for one who runs away across the country just to escape "religion" or God's calling for their life? Does he really think going on vacation around the world is going to satisfy his conscience or the Holy Spirit? Second of all, a whale?? Why would God use a whale- why not just a thunderstorm or a flash of lightening? But maybe sometimes God does crazy things just to show us He is God and He can do whatever He likes. Maybe He wants to show us that not every story revolves around us and our own lives are not to be lived for our selfish ambitions- but His glory.

As for Ruth, even Naomi told her to go home. Naomi had NOTHING to provide for her and Ruth had no protection for herself. The possibilities of Ruth finding a guy in the foreign land were very small, and it was very dangerous for Ruth to go picking wheat in strange fields. She could get raped very easily. It would be illogical for Ruth to go with Naomi- it wasn't her duty- wasn't her mother and wasn't her problem.

What is Christ calling us to do that seems illogical, impossible, or uncomfortable?
What problems are God asking us to help with that aren't our problems??

David fighting a giant, Balaam talking to a donkey, Hosea married an unfaithful woman, Noah builds an ark when he'd never seen rain, Shadrach lived through fire- God called the people in the Bible to do crazy things all the time! The difference is: they did them! If we aren't feeling called by God to things we are uncomfortable doing, we have to ask ourselves if we are really listening to God at all?

If we are asking God for His will about something and earnestly praying about it- God will reveal His will to us.
Sometimes it may not be the thing we want or like, but His will be done not ours. We are just going to have to accept that life doesn't revolve around us, it revolves around God.

So will we be like Ruth and obey even when things don't seem to make sense? Or will we make things difficult and run like Jonah?

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

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