Friday, December 31, 2010

BOAZ - The unsung hero of the Book of Ruth

The law of the childless widow.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Boaz was wealthy and well respected.

Ruth 2:1

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

Boaz was spiritual.

Ruth 2:4-5

And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee. Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, “Whose damsel is this?”

Boaz was practical.

Ruth 2:8-9

Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

Boaz had good values and respected the same in others.

Ruth 2:11-12

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Boaz was generous.

Ruth 2:15-16

And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

Boaz was a man of higher than normal moral standards.

Ruth 3:7-12

And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

Boaz knew how to take care of business.

Ruth 4:1-2

Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! Turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.

Boaz was used by God in the lineage of Jesus.

Ruth 4:13

So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.

Ruth 4:17

And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Boaz was likely already married at least once.

Ruth 2:1

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

{A man of his wealth and power was not a young man. He would have been extremely odd indeed, had he attained his position without being married to at least one wife. Polygyny was an accepted and approved practice among the people of God, even in that day.}

Boaz was more likely nearer Naomi’s age than Ruth’s age.

Like Naomi, Boaz called Ruth “daughter” 4 times. He spoke to her in a clear paternal manner until, under Naomi’s instruction; Ruth pressed the issue of the Law of the childless widow. Boaz called her righteous in the matter.

No mention of romantic love is found in the Book of Ruth.

Honor, faithfulness, respect and character permeate the book, but not one mention of romantic love is found. Where these traits exist, love will grow and abound. Where they do not exist, initial love will wither and die, leaving a bitter remorse.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marital Bondage Is Wrong

A husband must be willing to let his wife leave the marriage, if she chooses to do so. The civil law of the USA requires it and the Word of God condones it. Though it breaks his heart, he must allow it and not attempt to force, restrict or intimidate her.

This is particularly true if the husband is a godly man, endeavoring to follow the leadership of God in his life and fulfill his calling from the Most High. Truly, she cannot be held against her will to the satisfaction of the marriage. As some wise scholar has said, “If mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. The civil law does not allow physical restraint and neither does moral conscience. A contractual commitment is insufficient to hold her, for the law allows many exceptions to the contract. If her desire is contrary to the contract, she will find a loophole. If a husband’s love and commitment is not enough to hold her, then his authority will not be sufficient either. The only other power available, to keep the wife in the marriage is her commitment to God’s command and her covenant with Him. If faithfulness to God and His design for her as a godly woman and wife in the marriage is not sufficient motivation, then there is no hope for maintaining the marriage to a godly husband. The only option is for the husband to compromise his walk with God. Her rebellion then, in effect destroys the marriage anyway, by destroying the husband as a man of God, for he cannot compromise God’s calling and leading and still remain godly. This is a repeat of what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” A Biblical marriage is above all, a covenant between a man and a woman that incorporates the commands, design and standards of God. After all, He created people and He created marriage, it then follows that He sets the rules for how a marriage operates. God permits a wife to leave her husband, but He only permits her to leave, not to divorce or remarry. She is to remain celibate and married, but separate. God’s desire is that she never leave her husband, but gives her some room to exercise her own will, even if it is in opposition to God’s will. A woman that is married to a godly husband has absolutely no grounds for leaving her husband. Her own stubborn will is the only permitted reason and it reveals a rebellion against God, more than against her husband. 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” For a woman to rebel against her “godly husband” is rebellion against God’s established order and God Himself.

A woman that is married to an ungodly husband, whether he is a believer or not, is bound by the same commands as a woman married to a godly husband. She is however, justified in separation when there is fear of abuse and danger, both physical and mental, to her or her children. The requirements of being celibate and separate, but still married are in force. The only justification for her remarrying is also in 1 Corinthians 7:15 “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” If the unsaved (unbelieving husband) leaves her or abandons her, she is free to remarry. It is recommended that she still remain separate and celibate for a time of personal healing and the possible repentance of her husband, before moving on to another marriage. If not, the possibility of damaging future family relations is imminent.

Is a wife’s love or lack thereof sufficient proof for sustaining the marriage relationship? From a biblical perspective, I would have to say, no. Based upon two passages of scripture that are representative of the entire Bible’s position, we see the basis for the real issues regarding a wife staying or departing a marriage. One of these is Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Also, Ephesians 5:32-33 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” In light of this passage we see that the wife’s primary responsibility in the marriage, is as a supporter (helper, Genesis 2:18). She is instructed here to submit (willfully place one’s self under the leadership and protection of another) to her own husband and the spirit in which she is to submit is “reverence”. If a wife will not revere her husband, she is not revering God. If she will not revere God, she cannot revere her husband as a godly wife. The relationship of the wife to a godly husband is to be a rubber stamp replica of her relationship to God. The second passage is Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Contrary to popular opinion, love is taught, rather than caught. Older women are to teach the younger wives to “love their husbands and to be obedient to their own husbands”. I conclude therefore, that the love of a wife is not as important in sustaining a marriage, as is her compliance to her husband’s leadership and assuming her God designed role as a supporter in marriage. Love will accompany both the husband and wife in God’s design, but is not pre-requisite for the wife’s responsibility.

Conclusion: 1. The wife of an ungodly husband may leave her husband if she and/or her children are in danger from him. 2. The wife of an ungodly husband is permitted to leave her husband as a choice, by her desire, but such is not the will of God and will have eternal as well as temporal consequences, which will include the loss of leadership and protection. 3. The wife of an unbelieving husband that is rejected or abandoned by him is free to remarry a godly man, only. 4. The wife of a godly husband is permitted to leave her husband as a choice, by her desire, but such is not the will of God and will have eternal as well as temporal consequences, which will include the loss of leadership, protection from the husband, but possibly also from God. It is unreasonable to ask God to provide in another way, what He has already provided by a godly husband. 5. God has never recorded in scripture, instructions justifying a wife to leave or divorce a godly husband. He has however, permitted her to exercise her self-will with sure consequences. In doing so, she is under obligation to not break the marriage bond by establishing relations with another man. Such separation is to be temporary, for the purpose of repentance on either party’s part and healing of the soul.   6. For a godly husband to attempt to force his wife to remain against her will thwarts the power of the Holy Spirit to work in her heart. His task is to be consistent in his walk with God and to love his wife with all his heart, as he loves God. It is the epitome of the husband’s role to love his wife, with the love of God.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Searching for the references

I am searching the scripture for the references that show men of God explaining to God, when He called and commissioned them, that they had to go home and get the wife's agreement that it is the right thing to do.

1.Noah - Nope, nothing there.

2.Abram - Also, no such reference.

3.Moses - Nah, Aaron was already on the way, no time to confer with the wife.

4.Gideon - He conferred with a fleece, not the wife.

5.David - Which wife? Too confusing, just followed God.

6.Peter and Andrew - They just followed Jesus.

7.James and John - They left Dad in the ship and immediately followed Jesus.

I am having a terrible time. Can you help me?

It appears that the men of God in scripture sought only the will and mind of God, not their spouse or children. Something must be wrong here, that's not the way it works today, is it?

Every car or RV salesman will tell you that when a man says "gotta talk to the wife", he's not a buyer. What about men that say "gotta check with the wife and get her agreement, because I can't answer God for myself"? Think God is smarter than salespeople?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Being The Post

Tetherball is a fast, exciting game. Players’ jump and punch the ball, batting it back and forth. There is a lot of yelling, screaming, cheering and enthusiasm in the effort to wind the rope in the team’s direction of play. Throughout the game the pole just stands there, inactive but steadfast with only the occasional vibration from being struck. Most of the excitement depends on the skill and enthusiasm of the players. But, without the solidity and security of the post, the game cannot work.

Family life is much like a game of tetherball. Several players, each, trying to win the game, all, husbands, wives, brothers and sisters are trying to reach their prospective goals. Yet, often they are playing against each other instead of working together to accomplish God’s goal for the family.

God created and designed the family to reflect the relationship between God and His people. For our families to successfully display that relationship we must operate by Gods design. He created the family with order, a chain of authority that will keep everything flowing freely. That chain looks like this:

1. God.

2. Husband/father.

3. Wife/mother.

4. Children.

5. Children becoming adults and taking their place as husband or wife in their own family.

The responsibility of leadership of the earthly family comes first to the husband. It is imperative for him to do his job well, that he listens to and follows his heavenly Father. As the principles of family order are implemented, a critical issue comes to the fore. That issue is, that humans are very human and not at all God. Humans can only do the best that humans can do and trust God to aid in their efforts. Not only, will husbands make unintended errors, but so will wives and children. The cumulative errors will often create a chaos that will require God’s intervention, as well as a good deal of grace from family members.

The Post

Just as the post is essential for tetherball, so is the husband/father significant in family life. Often, the chaos that results in the average family is not intentional, but the result of the humanity of family members. A Bible verse quoted or a discussion held will not always calm the chaos. More frequently, time is needed for God to work in the life of the family. Here is where the post must stand firm, strong and unwavering, experiencing the occasional vibration from conflict, but steadfastly clinging to the earth in which it is grounded. The husband/father must be securely grounded in his Father, God, as the rest of the family may swing to and fro, erratically at times, accompanied with sound and fury of enthusiasm, until the God of all, brings peace and victory. It is normal for us humans to have the chaos, family members may be the ball or the rope, but MEN, BE THE POST for your family.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another look at historical marriage in the Bible

This video is a very practical, non-religous look at an optional form of marriage that may possibly be the answer to problems for many men and women.  Take a look at it and see what this lady has to say.  I am interested in your observations on her thoughts, not rants against something you haven't researched.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sound The Trumpet

“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”        1 Corinthians 14:7-8

For those of us interested in promoting Biblical truth, particularly in the field of marriage and the family, it is becoming more important than ever before, that we sound the trumpet with a distinct, certain sound. I understand the need for some people to protect their identity, but I feel compelled to ask, “Is it necessary for all of us to do so." The use of screen names is often a matter of cuteness or convenience, but often hides the sincerity of our position. If the signers of the declaration of independence had signed with a “guess who”, would the document have had the impact that the large signature of “John Hancock” gave it? It is my belief (I’m no authority) that it is time for the majority of us to step away from anonymity and declare, with our reputations, the veracity of our cause.
Further complicating the value of our position is the issue of “multiple online personality disorder”. While I understand the benefit of having several identities to promote or stimulate discussion and research, I see such activity as confusing and adding to the criticism of valid Biblical truths, by the opponents of Biblical marriage. Our causes and we ourselves, are benefited, by refusing to give the enemy any more ammo than is necessary.

When we as men and women of faith and integrity and as students of God’s Word take our stand, boldly upon His truth, we need not fear what the enemy can do to us. Let us make sure of our position and then stand boldly for God and His truth.