Aug. 25, 2009
“When she (Naomi) saw that she (Ruth) was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left speaking unto her.”
Ruth 1: 18
King James Version
“An Alert Mind”
“Lord, help me to see!”
What do I think it means to have an alert mind?
“Thank you, Lord, that beneath the surface of human power, chaos and uncontrollable events, You can be found, quietly working out Your deep and far-reaching plans. Help us to trust You more.”
“Lord, guide. I know You are in charge.”
Many people have nicknames. I have several. My two nieces, Aimee and Bethanie, have called me, “Effie,” all their lives. When Aimee first learned to talk, she couldn’t say the word “Dorothy” and somehow, as kids often do, she turned my real name into one she made up, “Effie.” But I also have another nickname, given to me by the adult members of the family. The basis of this name is founded on a family name, which in my case, has been twisted into “HARD-IN-THE-HEAD.” While this may sound rather derogatory, I’m called this in fun. And, I might add, this phrase is used as a description of the firm-mindedness I can show at times.
My dear husband says this is an endearing quality for as he compliments me, strong-minded people get things accomplished. However, there have been a few times when “HARD-IN-THE-HEAD” really described my closed-mindedness on a subject and I had to be brought down a peg or two by the entire family as they informed me my hard headedness was more like someone whose mind was filled with concrete and wouldn’t budge.
After studying our text today, I thought I’d found a little ammunition that bolstered my position only to be surprised to learn there’s always something new and exciting to find whenever we study God’s Word.
In this text, we read that after listening to the entreaty by Ruth, Naomi came to the correct conclusion Ruth would not be persuaded to go back to Moab. It didn’t matter how many reasons Naomi gave her or how convincing Naomi sounded, Ruth was, “of a steadfast mind.” Of course, I had to do some research on the word “steadfast” and here’s what I found. This time I didn’t just look at what the Hebrew word meant when the book of Ruth was written. I also looked at how the word steadfast is used in the 21st century.
In the Scripture, a steadfast person would be described as someone who was courageous and determined, both qualities that were evident in Ruth. A person who is steadfast is also described as the kind of person who will prevail.
But there’s also another word included in the Hebrew description of steadfast and it is the word “alert.” I must say I didn’t think this word fit with the other definitions. When I hear the word “alert,” I think about my younger days when I would drive for hours until I could hardly keep my eyes open and I’d finally have to stop somewhere to get a cup of coffee or a can of Coke for a caffeine jolt to keep me awake.
Assistance in better understanding the word, “alert,” came from my Webster’s Dictionary which defines the word “alert” as meaning: “one who is mentally perceptive, open-minded, observant and attentive.” Now let’s think of these words as they apply to Ruth.
Her steadfast mind wasn’t the result of “closed-mindedness.” Just the opposite! It was the result of this Moabite girl being observant of Naomi’s God-fearing life. It was the result of her being open-minded to hearing things that were in direct contradiction to what she’d been taught since she was a little girl, born into a Moabite family. Ruth was mentally perceptive in her ability to look at the facts and to study before she jumped to a conclusion.
Ruth didn’t come to a snap decision to leave Moab, her family and friends, her home and her god – just on impulse alone. She made a decision based on the facts – heavenly facts that led her to the position of having a steadfast mind for God.
What more can you say about a girl the Israelites called a heathen, who after studying and clearly looking at the facts, had a heart so touched and a mind so convinced that she should follow the God of Israel, she willingly left everything she’d known behind.
In the coming days, it’s going to be exciting to find out where an “alert” mind can take you and whose family it can end up bringing into your life!
“I do earnestly entreat Thee, that to the very last I may never deny Thee, or in any way have my life or conversation inconsistent with my love to Thee and most earnest desire to live to Thy glory; for I have loved Thee, O Lord, and desired to serve Thee without reserve. Be entreated, that through Thy faithfulness, and the power of Thy own Spirit, I may serve Thee unto the end.”
Take my Life
“Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my will, and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine;
take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure-store;
take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.”
Frances Ridley Havergal
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit:www.direct2church.com or email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.