In fresh study of the book of Ruth this morning, I received some powerful, fresh revelation:
Ruth 1:7 "With her two daughters-in-law she (Naomi) left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah."
I sat long with this verse. Where had Naomi been living? In Moab - a foreign land, a place where they worshiped other gods. She had spent much time in this place away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, away from the place, the people, and the God that held her heart. Now, after much grief and loss, she was ready to travel the "road that would take them back to the land of Judah."
What does this mean, spiritually? If we see this road only in the physical realm, we have missed the revelation. For those of us living in America or Brazil or Tahiti or Norway, this "road back to the land of Judah" would be entirely too long to walk. I have been to the land of Israel (the land of Judah) five times and yes, it has helped me to understand the Scriptures better, and it is a beautiful, powerful place to explore -- but I believe this verse means so much more!
Naomi left the godless place where she had been living, where foreigners and their false gods and materialistic society prevailed, and she set out on the road that would take her back to the Holy One of Israel, and to the Torah, His loving teaching and instructions. She left the "world," her heart set on the God of her ancestors and His set-apart ways.
Ruth 1:22: So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by Ruth, the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
The barley harvest! Ah yes, Passover! Her heart is set on returning to the one true God, and so she is on a spiritual walk with Him, and that always begins at Passover -- the place where we put the Blood of the Lamb over our doorposts (our lives) and then enter into the waters of Baptism (the mikveh of the Red Sea). She arrives in Bethlehem - the place where Yeshua the Redeemer entered into the world.
When we take this road, we begin anew. We return to Torah, where our God defines the journey into His own heart, and how to live for Him. This is the true road back to the land of Judah. It is the true "Back to the Future!" We go back, like Naomi, in order to go forward.
Our strength was restored to us on our God-given vacation and then we came home to the next assignment. The "crisis mode" continued. John's cousin Jerry went into Hospice and John wanted to see him again. And so we drove 800 miles straight through the night down to El Paso. We spent two full days in Jerry's room and I had a most holy, awesome time with him. He was unable to speak, on heavy morphine - and yet I was granted an entire morning where he was lucid and clung to my hand, receiving the words of God that assured him safe passage into an everlasting life. The Spirit showed me his fears and anxieties as he was reviewing his life and wondering if Yeshua could possibly accept him. As I sang over him and read John 6 and Romans 3 to him, he gripped my hand so tightly, so fervently, and his crystal blue eyes met mine in an effort to respond. We know he heard the message of the Pure Gospel of Messiah and then he fell into a deep, peaceful sleep and we turned on Pandora Radio on my phone.
God chose the song list and played them in this order: Amazing Grace - I'll Fly Away - Jesus, Take My Hand - I Can Only Imagine. Four songs all about the moment of passing from this life to the next, and what awe-inspiring joy, peace and immeasurable LOVE we will encounter!
That was two days ago and Jerry still lingers, though we came home. That is a mystery - it must be a time when the Spirit reveals deep things to the one leaving this earth. It caused me to recall the last moments with my parents just a year and a half ago. Through these experiences I have come to truly understand this: "Precious and holy in the eyes of the LORD is the death of His saints."
Abba wrote that in the sky just after my time of ministry with Jerry. I walked over to the hospital window and just over the horizon of the El Paso sky, a huge, glistening rainbow appeared and then ascended higher into the heavens. Precious and holy!
Kelly Ferrari Mills