Thursday, March 7, 2013

Scripture Thursday ~ Under His Wings



Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;

And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,

Until these calamities have passed by.
Psalm 57:1

Her name was Ruth, she was a woman who persevered and trusted God through great adversity in her life.  In the end, she received blessings she never could have hoped or dreamed of.    The story of her life is of such great importance to all of us, that an entire book of the Bible is devoted to her.   The book of RUTH.   She was the great-grandmother of Kind David and one of the ancestors of Jesus.  She is one of only four women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1. 

If you’ve never read the book of Ruth in the Bible, it’s a wonderful story which portrays two women – Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi.
  They endured tremendous trials, remained faithful to the Lord, and were blessed by His provisions for them.  It’s a story of love, perseverance and trust.    There are only 4 chapters to this book.  I’d encourage you to read it, and re-read it again.  


The book begins when Naomi, her husband and two sons left the security of their homeland in Bethlehem because of famine.  They travelled to the land of Moab where there were more provisions for them.  Shortly after arriving, Naomi’s husband died, leaving her alone with her two sons.  The two sons later married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. 

After ten years in Moab, Naomi’s two sons died leaving her with just her daughters in law.
  The culture of this day would have been particularly hard on these women as they were dependent on the men in their family for their livelihood.  Their future looked bleak unless someone stepped in to help them.
A very heavy hearted Naomi prepared to return to her homeland of Bethlehem.  Ruth and Orpah chose to go with her.  However, Naomi wanted what she thought was best for them and asked them to stay with their people.   Orpah turned back, but Ruth, clung to Naomi and said what I think is one of the most beautiful passages of words uttered to another in the Bible. 


Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.
Ruth 1:16-17



Ruth was fiercely loyal to Naomi after the loss of her own husband.  She gave up what she knew and what she was comfortable with to travel with Naomi to a strange land and an unknown future.  She persevered through the hardship with all her might and determination.



As we read further in the book of Ruth, Naomi and Ruth reached their destination of Bethlehem and were looked after by Boaz, who gave them food and shelter.  Ruth eventually married Boaz.  There are more details to this story than I can write here.    It’s a most beautiful love story, and shows the blessings God bestowed on them because of their faithfulness to him through adversity.

Another beautiful passage of scripture in the book of Ruth can be found in Ruth 2:12, and was spoken by Boaz.  

The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.
Ruth 2:12


The image of a baby bird safe under their mother’s wings is often portrayed in the book of Psalm as one seeking refuge in the Lord.  It conveys a close relationship of protection, provision, and blessing. 







Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!

For my soul trusts in You;

And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,

Until these calamities have passed by.
Psalm 57:1



There’s an expression “You can become bitter or better”.  The following verses can help prevent you from becoming bitter in the face of adversity.


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11


Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


For those who have placed their trust in the Lord, things don’t happen by luck or coincidence, there’s a reason you’re going through the trial.

A recent devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries titled Either He Planned It, Or Permitted It, speaks on this matter in a wonderful way.   You can find it **here**


There’s a beautiful hymn titled Under His Wings, written by William Cushing in 1896Here’s one of the verses and the chorus.  

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!

How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.

Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.



Dear ones, there is hope in whatever trial you are facing.  Even in the midst of a trial, there will be blessings.  Naomi lost her husband and two sons, but God blessed her with the companionship, love and aid of her daughter in law Ruth.  Ruth gave up everything she had to go with Naomi, including the prospect of marrying.  The Lord blessed both her and Naomi abundantly through Boaz. 
Her life reveals that following God is the path of truest joy and greatest peace. 

Look for the blessings…. They ARE there.  Some days you just need to look harder for them.   
Blessings journal I made for a friend

What am I thankful for today?
I am able to walk with my air cast using a cane instead of crutches
My “forced” rest has allowed me to spend more time in THE Book, the Bible
An opportunity to pray for others
Skyping with my grandchildren
Humbled by those in extreme adversities, reaching out in encouraging words and prayers for me
22 years this week with a husband who has gone above and beyond his vows of “in sickness and health”
My Family & Church Family
For those who place their trust in Jesus, there is the HOPE of eternal security in a place so wonderful it defies description.   Do you want the HOPE and PEACE that Jesus offers you?  I’d invite you to visit Proverbs 31 Ministries "Do You Know Jesus"  for more information on how you can know Jesus as your personal Savior.  Being a Christian is a belief, not a behavior.  Jesus wants you to come as you are, you don’t need to get cleaned up first. He invites you to accept His free gift of Salvation. 

Thank you for visiting here today.  I pray you found the story of Ruth encouraging. 

This post is linked to:
A Sheltering Tree, Monday's Musings, Word Art Wednesday, Hearts 4 Home,
Clever Chicks, Encourage One Another, Teach Me Tuesdays, The Alabaster Jar


 
 


21 comments:

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hullo there dear Abby, another beautiful post - have always been greatly blessed by the story of Ruth one who truly was faithful in the midst of adversity and how the LORD saw fit to mightily bless her faithfulness,.

I would also like to link over to you my post today on Lessons of the Eagle's Nest + Proverbs 3:5, 6 Illuminated Verse - link below.

Many thanks dear Abby and praying for continuing healing of the limb and much grace and mercy for you all in it in the meantime,
love Shaz in oz.x

http://calligraphycards-shazinoz.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/lessons-of-eagles-nest-proverbs-35-6.html

MaxineD said...

I love the story of Ruth, and when I did a study once, the meanings of the names were given, and they added yet another dimension to the story!!
Thank you for blessing us with this devotion.
Blessings
Maxine

TLady said...

BEAUTIFUL DEVOTIONAL & GRAPHICS ABBY! (I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the photo of the mommy bird with her little ones!) THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

The Lord helps those who need him in times of trial, THAT'S FOR SURE! I'm so happy you're feeling better! Just like your husband who BELIEVES in Christ, his love for God & you, came out in his behavior! Out of our love comes the behavior Christ calls for!

God Bless!!!!!!!!! :)

Vee said...

This was a special blessing today and I will share it with a dear friend. And I will also read Ruth again. Thank you for the suggestion.

So glad that you are boogying right along!

Mrs.T said...

So glad you are doing better and making progress with your mobility. Several years ago I did the Elizabeth George Bible study of the book of Ruth with my ladies' Sunday School class. It was a blessing. And "Under His Wings" is one of my very favorite hymns! Thanks for this comforting and encouraging post.

Shoregirl said...

Abby, I hope you continue to improve a little more every day!! I love the blessings journal you made -- so very pretty! I'm filling my own with new blessings nearly every day!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Abby, this is beautiful and encouraging. I really like how you ended the post too. That is so true, we don't have to be good enough, but we do need to make the first step forward.

Happy Anniversary, and I am happy that you are recovering well.

Kathy M.

lynn said...

this post is so beautiful and the picture of the mother bird with the babies ... touched my heart :)
hope you have a speedy recovery and that you get some needed rest. i love the story of Ruth, and i also love the scriptures with the illustrations.
have a wonderful day..... sending big ladybug hugs
lynn

Sü Smith said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're using a cane now. It must have felt like an eternity with those crutches.

So many comforting and inspiring words you've shared today. I love the story of Ruth, and I love that you remind us to have trust in the Lord during adversity. Also to look for the blessings. They really *are* there!! Sometimes those blessings even come in the form of great lessons which prepare one for the next adventure. I am in agreement with loving the last statement too. <3
Huge hugs!!

Anne said...

Beautiful and uplifting! An encouraging reminder of where our focus should always be and how much God is so intricately involved in our life. I love the idea of a blessing journal too! Yours is lovely! So pleased that you are on the mend and finding real positives out of your accident...oh how the enemy must be mad because you aren't complaining!!!!!!

Lauriloth said...

Such encouragement! I've always been in awe and inspired by the book of Ruth. What a beautiful story it is to see how God turns the hardships into something grand. A reminder we all need through life.

You are still in my prayers. You're such a blessing! All those comments you left on my blog completely thrilled me!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Rea said...

Lovely journal with sweet details. Thanks for joining us this week at WAW.

Karen Letchworth said...

.....and the Ruth met Boaz!! I LOVE this book of the Bible, but then again....there are SO many wonderful stories. Who needs Harlequin romance books when you have the best love story ever written? Thanks for sharing this beautiful post with us.
Karen
Word Art Wednesday

Betty@HomeEducatorMom said...

Hi Abby,
I'm stopping by from Home Educator Mom. It's nice meeting you.

I love the book of Ruth. She definitely examplified faith in the Lord to provide for her. Thanks for sharing.
I'm following you on Facebook :) looking forward to reading more of your posts.

Carol Z said...

Lovely post! So enjoy your beautiful art.

SarahGeorge said...

Dear Abby, what a wonderful post about Ruth!I almost cried when I was reading "what am I thankful for today?". Ruth is really a challenging Bible character.The picture of the mama dove is just amazing.What a joy to have stopped to read your wonderful post!I too love vintage pictures very much. I have a couple of them in my blog too:-) Hope you visit mine when time permits.

Pamelyn said...

So many great things in this post! But for the grace of God we could find ourselves in Naomi and Ruth's shoes ~ Praise God there is assurance that the same God that provided redemption for them will do for us as well! So glad to hear you're recovering well. I love the blessings journal and the baby birds with momma image!
~ Pamelyn

Hope said...

How good it is to know the Lord is in control of ALL things!

:) Hope

JES said...

This was such a delightful post! Ruth became my favorite story as I got older. In my younger years it was Queen Esther but I think that the loyalty Ruth had impressed me over the years because of certain aspects in my life. I wonder who will become a favorite in the future? I love your blog :)

Liza said...

Thank you, Abby, for this very comforting post from the book of Ruth.

I believe the Lord has sent me to this particular post as it speaks directly to the circumstances we are currently experiencing. I must admit that it's very challenging to go through a bunch of intense trials (all occurring at the same time)! Yet I know it's a good thing, as the adversities has kept me clinging to Him.

Anyway, your article has prompted me to go and read the book of Ruth thoroughly. (And I will definitely do that today!)

Thank you again for the encouragement. May He continue to be a tremendous *blessing* to you and your family!

Jacqueline said...

Abby,
Just stopping by to tell you that you write so beautifully of the Truth of God. I always love visiting your lovely blog...I hope you are doing well in the Lord. Many blessings!