Spiritual Hug

Published on Sep 7th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Spiritual Hug

Spiritual Hug

I have had the blues the last couple of days. There are probably many reasons for it but if I could play the guitar I would be pounding out a melancholy blues number and singing like I was from the Big Easy. Fortunately for anyone near me I can neither play the guitar or sing the blues but I have found myself repeating two lines of one song, “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure”. They are like a spiritual hug. To think that while others do their best to avoid you that the Father continues to love us deeply and vastly.

These points have been driven home to me as I have been studying the book of Ruth. When you spend as much time as I have in studying everything you can about Ruth you begin to realize the depth of each character. I am at the point in my study where Ruth and Boaz have just found out that all obstacles have been cleared so that they can be married. Boaz’s love for Ruth is meant to point us to the love that God has for us. The deep sacrificial love of one who gives so freely and so abundantly. When you read the story you are so moved by the eagerness of Boaz to serve Ruth by arranging for their marriage. His cunning wisdom in presenting to the other kinsman redeemer his options provided for the best opportunity to be with Ruth. You really have to read the story. As I read the account the Spirit of God kept bringing to my mind the phrase, “he moved heaven and earth to be with her”. It is what Jesus did to marry us. He moved heaven and earth to sacrificially give to us. How deep and vast is his love to us.

I was also moved that God would move the author of Ruth to portray us as Ruth. Ruth was part of a cursed nation. She was a foreigner with no right to claim any blessings promised to Israel. Yet the author gives her dignity and nobility. I know that I am an enemy of God. That I was born under the wrath of God and that I have no righteousness of my own. My works, apart from Christ, are like filthy rags and my heart is desperately wicked. Those pictures are accurate Biblical pictures of who I am before I come to Christ. Just as accurate, though, is that I am the pinnacle of his creation. I am created in his image and because of that there is some inherent dignity and nobility that is shown in Ruth. The moon is a barren, dusty rock but it shines bright in the sky because it reflects the sun. I am grateful for the glimpses of our Creator that we see in each us.

Lastly I am moved because in taking care of Ruth Boaz also knew he was taking care of Naomi. I have no trouble seeing myself in Naomi. As you read you may feel sorry for Naomi but she would not be on your top ten to invite to tea. Yet the kindness shown to Ruth always had Naomi in mind. Of course, it is a backward picture of how God intended it to be. The glory of God and the blessing of God was supposed to be seen and given through Israel to other nations but now the blessings were coming through the foreigner to one of God’s chosen. What shines brightly is the love God bestows upon his children even when they are not acting so lovely. He truly is an amazing heavenly Father whose love for us is deep and vast.

I am not much of a hugger. Pretty awkward at it and usually a few toes are sacrificed when I go in for a hug but today I feel as if God pulled me and gave me a spiritual bear hug that changed my blues to praise.

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