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You Don't Have To Wait

Five sons.  Dozens of college applications.  Now that we are down to our youngest son we are prepared to scour the literature from several universities.  Soon he’ll be narrowing his choices.  You know the routine.  Visit campuses. Choose a few schools to focus on.  Make applications.  Fill out forms.  Write essays.  Apply for scholarships.

For anyone who hasn’t “been there, done that,” the filing of the application and financial aid forms is nothing compared to the waiting.  It’s like the first time you look at your girlfriend or boyfriend and say, ‘I love you.”  You’ve made the first move.  And then you wait.  You wait to see if they respond in turn.   

At some point the wait will be over.  In your mailbox you’ll see a letter informing you of the good news (or bad news).  It might come by e-mail, but it will come. It is so exciting when you see the word “ACCEPTED!” We all have a desire to be accepted, don’t we?  In fact, that desire made it into Maslow’s well-known hierarchy of needs.  He theorized that acceptance is basic to our nature and to our psychological health.

Ruth had the same need as we do.  She was a Moabite living in Bethlehem.  She ended up there with her mother-in-law Naomi when her husband died.  And she found herself picking up the leftovers after the harvest in a field owned by Boaz.

Boaz discovered she was an outsider—a Moabite—the same people who would oppress his nation for eighteen years.  You’d expect fireworks when they met.  Instead, Boaz tells Ruth, “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

His acceptance of Ruth goes a step further.  Ruth finds him asleep on the threshing floor and lies down at his feet.  When he awakens, Ruth asks him to “spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a family guardian.”  The word for “garment” is the same Hebrew word for “wings” in the blessing Boaz had pronounced over Ruth.  God’s acceptance came to Ruth through Boaz.

Your acceptance did too.  You see, Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.  In Matthew’s genealogy the lineage of Jesus is traced through David.  Boaz is there too along with his mother Rahab (Matthew 1:5). Yes, that Rahab.  The prostitute that lived in Canaan and sheltered the two spies Joshua sent into the land. She was spared and God used her to bear the Messiah! 


You are loved.

Ray Reynolds, PhD

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