A Season of Politics, Posturing, Prejudice, & Pandemic

Every day we are flooded with information: there is a presidential race, constant political posturing, prejudice and racial tension, and for extra fun a virus that keeps on giving.  What on earth is the Lord doing?

Well – for one thing – nothing new.  It was Solomon who penned the words, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Words penned for us in Holy Writ, some 3,000 years ago!  You want political posturing?  Look at the Kings of the Old Testament; murder, adultery, treason. Or look closely at the time of Christ where the political scene is dripping with intrigue and lies. The racial tension on our own soil is well-documented and it’s no different in so many places around the world. And the pandemic?  Nothing new, calamities occur throughout world history.

The difficulty is we’ve had a season of having it really good.  I look at the cycle that we find throughout history, periods of peace and prosperity and then periods of chaos and disorder. As the book of Judges puts it, “when every man did what was right in his own eyes”.  Is that not very similar to where we are?  We’ve not only had people doing what’s right in their own eyes but live in a culture that encourages and applauds it!  So, we may be simply sampling the fruits of our own culture that has turned away from God.

I could write on and on about this, but I simply want to remind us of some principles we find in the book of Ruth.  I thought of Ruth because it’s a book that fits into the time frame of Judges. A time when the people are “doing what is right in their own eyes”.  We, therefore, have choices before us: we can get angry at the sin of our culture, rant and rave about getting back to our spiritual roots, get up in people’s faces about the fact that non-Christian people are not following Christ’s commands (hmm…) or we can follow some of the wisdom that we find characterizing the main characters in Ruth.  These were believers in the Lord who were living in some dark times.  Here are some attributes that made a difference:
  1. Kindness.  At the end of the day – you and I who are Christians have been rescued by a kindness that led to repentance.  God in His mercy has pardoned us!  Ruth shows kindness to Naomi…Boaz to Ruth.  It ought to mark our lives! 
  1. Care for the poor/marginalized.  Ruth showed care for a mother-in-law who was destitute.  Boaz showed grace to those who would gather food at the edges of his property.  Who are the marginalized/needy/poor that you and I can help?  Look for ways to be helpful and generous. 
  1. Character matters.  Both Ruth and Boaz exemplify godly character.  Things like integrity, honor, morality, honesty, etc. continue to be a pathway to blessing and joy.  And they have positive ripple effects in our families and churches. 
  1. Love still conquers.  It is God’s love for us that is amazing, steadfast, and consistent.  And it is our job, along with loving God, to love others.  Ruth is a love story.  We are called to love God and the world around us.   
  1. Faith conquers fear.  Always.  With all the reasons to fear around us…Keep your eyes on the Lord!  Ruth, Naomi and Boaz moved forward in Faith!  Don’t cower in a corner.  Walk in Faith! 
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Pete Nelson