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Topic/series: the Book of Ruth
Title: By choice we become family of God
Scripture: Ruth 1.16-17
Back in the 90’s I came across an article in a Journal of American Psychological Association discussing the identity phenomena among many adult immigrants to the United States. The author called it the second individuation process. It refers to the new resident immersed in a completely new culture where there are minimal if any identifiable customs, including language, that are familiar. It is in some sense a traumatic shock to the individual's core that destabilizes her sense of identity. There is no way to let go of the previous life setting in which she formed her expressions of daily life but then it is a matter of survival in finding another self in a foreign land. The research concludes by saying what has worked and has been the observation from many cases is that one can and must be able to embrace two different identities perfectly as possible.
The story line goes for the settling people of God, the Isarelites in
Canaan, was to get rid of the pagan, the ungodly inhabitants. For this reason, we trust was clearly evident because God said so. There was nothing in the non-Israelite people of Canaan, to which the new people were to settle, had anything redeemable so they could not live alongside Israel. The Moabite ethnic group on the east side of Jordan were easily grouped as the pagans with their own religion. But a family of a tribe of Israel out of need to escape famine decide to move to Moab for survival. There they lived, presumably as Godly people keeping their faith and devotion to God of Israel. And a Moabite woman, Ruth, not only gets married into this alien family she decides her in-laws follow the real and only God. It was like looking in from a distance not only to see the nation of Israel experience the miraculous intervention of God but also the intimacy she discovers in how God is present in her new family.
The Bible is a compilation of unique stories about a nation group of individuals who were touched by God. He had a plan for a special blessing worthy of belonging in heaven. He enacted his salvation miracle process through a people he called his own. He called them, befriended them, and convinced them that he is almighty, infinitely loving with a splendorous eternal plan. Nothing like ever a human being could imagine.
And further he showed how much each individual is worth in his eyes. This is documented in the Bible through a people called Israelites. But surprise, today, an alien person outside of God’s chosen few in the world, suddenly chose to insert herself into the special divinely chosen family like saving them out of slavery. But never more surprising would we be that she, Ruth, becomes a mother whose descendents would give birth to the Messiah, who is the central figure through whom God would complete salvation of his people. It is by choice , just like you and me, to become God’s heavenly royal family inheritors of his kingdom forever. This become our story, for anyone who would believe.
Wallis Simpson, in theory, would have become the royal family of England that stood for centuries as the apex of royal treatment of high society of greatest affluence simply because of blood lineage. Though she was an American she could have legally become a member of the royal family tree. And her descendants would benefit the same. However, this did not happen because of the rules of monarch in the church of England as well as the socio- political barriers to a divorced woman to marry into a royalty. She was barred from this incredible jump in status with plum treatment for the rest of her life. Our potential to become God’s children, no comparison to the royal family in the reversed sense, is possible simply because Jesus, who has absolute authority and power over all the universe. There is no adversary that will stop this change in status. This would be just, right, with no laws legal or spiritual, against that. And all this happens because we choose this privilege offered freely no matter what you or anyone or anything else thinks or disagrees or fights to stop you.
I want to suggest a mental exercise that could play itself out naturally, creatively just like an organism whose inside is bound to express externally whether good or bad.
What we are inside is what will be outside in a manner of speaking. God has this project to not just create a holy nation, a people, a group, an entity that he can be proud of like a kingdom of beautiful people, but he is also concerned, interested in individuals like Ruth. Each of us can feel the worth because we are uniquely created and designed by God no less important than anyone in history for he only makes masterpieces. It is meant to mature and increase in worth as it ages. I mean it is intended to do that forever. It is more than Van Gogh or Monet or Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. It is priceless. The Bible calls this being grafted into his vine of eternal source and creative effect on his kingdom because you have a purpose . And that will become a story, a beautiful story that is like an art . We get to choose the color of life, the texture, the brush, the picture that will be affected by how we use our faith. Let your faith prove to increase beauty just like Ruth. Get going so that faith will play itself out naturally creatively for you to witness.
Though it is more likely than not that an average person will value her life less, less meaningful, with less potential because of countless reasons we cannot control we say, we need, it seems to say in the Bible through Jesus, is faith ,love and trust in God who means to make a story of our lives that is meant to be an eternal legacy