Thoughts for the Week

Archive for October, 2012

Be Careful What You Pray For

Ever felt like your life was going down the drain?

Naomi sure felt that way. She moved to another country, and her husband died. Then her two married sons lost their lives as well. In that day, social security rested in the sons. They were the ones who took care of their parents in their old age. All she had left were her two foreign daughters-in-law.

It’s possible Naomi felt as if her life was over. Her family line had been cut off. She was going to be buried away from her family in a foreign country and forgotten.

It was no wonder she told her friends “Don’t call me Naomi [which means pleasant], call me Mara [bitter].” (Ruth 1:20, NIV).

I can picture her pleading with the only person who could have saved her–God. But her situation was pretty bleak.

For those who have read the story, you know how it ends. Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth came back to Israel. Ruth worked hard to provide for them, and got married to a rich, righteous man named Boaz. The new couple had a son named Obed. Naomi’s friends saw the blessings and said Ruth “is better than seven sons,” and When Naomi became Obed’s nanny, everyone said she had a son again (4:14-15).

The book ends with a genealogy with Obed. You find that he becomes the grandfather of David! As in, the  King of Israel  and slays Goliath, David. If you flip ahead to Matthew chapter one, you find the genealogy of Jesus. And take a wild guess who is in his family line. Obed!

Naomi feared her family line would die out and she would be forgotten. But not only did her line continue, but within a few generations, a descendant was king, and several more later, one was the Savior. Not just the Savior, but God himself!

In other words, when you think your life is over, God is still with you. He may surprise and bless you in ways you can’t imagine.

Copyright 2012 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

Be Refreshed

Have you ever read a chapter in the Bible that doesn’t make sense? Psalm 133 is one example. It’s short, but odd.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,  running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.

It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (NIV).

Say what? Last time I checked, getting an oil bath sounds nasty. And who is Hermon?

First of all, this type of psalm is a unique one called “a song of ascents.” The Israelites would sings these songs as they traveled to the temple, because Jerusalem was on a hill. Each song would remind them of a lesson or about God’s character as they ascended to worship him.

As for the oil bath, this picture is the image when the high priests would be anointed.  This oil was scented and was the equivalent to a hot shower today–refreshing and invigorating.

The dew falling from Hermon to Mt. Zion can be explained by looking at a map of Israel. Mt. Hermon is the tallest peak in the region of Palestine. It is at the northern tip of Israel and has snow on its peak. Mt. Zion is where Jerusalem is located and is roughly 100 miles south of Mt. Hermon.

The thought of fresh, snow-melted dew descending onto a dry land sounded heavenly. It’s similar to how delightful going for a cool swim would be after a long hot day.

When God’s people (whether Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, etc.) work together in unity, it’s always refreshing and invigorating, and according to the psalm, God will bless them.

Copyright 2012 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.

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