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Favored Foreigners

Daily Reading: Ruth 2

Scripture Focus: Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner? (Ruth 2.10)

Devotional Thought: "GBTO - We full." Those words were printed on a bumper sticker - over the image of a Johns Island, SC map. I was riding with my friend Gerry, who asked, "What's that?" I snickered and said, "Go back to Ohio. We're full." Gerry was from Ohio. Ouch.

Contrast that to the welcome Ruth received when she found herself an outsider. Boaz, a distant relative of her mother-in-law Ruth, saw her in his fields and told her, "Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them" (Ruth 2.8). That kindness moved Ruth to exclaim, "Why have I found favor in your eyes?"

Are there not parallels in this story to the story of our lives?

· We were foreigners to hope. Ruth was not an Israelite, but rather an alien. Our sin alienates us from God. We are "separate from Christ... and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God" (Ephesians 2.12).

· Our Redeemer found us. Boaz noticed Ruth among the crowd of harvesters and gleaners. He went to her with an amazing offer of grace. Jesus "came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19.10).

· God has shown us favor. While allowing beggars to glean was expected, Boaz didn't have to show this extravagant kindness. God has shown us extravagant kindness as well: "You who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ... no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household" (Ephesians 2.13, 20).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you came in love to redeem me from sin and hopelessness and despair. You have welcomed me into your family. Help me to have the mind of Christ and welcome others. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 63.6-11

6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; 10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

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