Saturday, March 31, 2007

Joe and Margaret - Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Wednesday, October 4, 2000

Women’s Bible Study, and they were going to cover all of Ruth, Margaret was excited. Pastor Larry had suggested that the group keep up with the suggested home Bible readings and they were. And what would the other women think of the story of Ruth?

Pastor Larry was there as the women arrived. They greeted him and started passing out the desserts. Miriam, Pastor Larry’s wife, was the hostess so the women did not think too much about his presence. They were glad to see the Pastor taking an interest. Then Miriam said, “I’m glad to see you all here today. My husband thinks this book is of great importance and is going to teach us himself. Larry is going to take over teaching all of the women’s groups. We need to thank him for his concern for all of us weak women. We will be lead not just by one of our husbands, but by our pastor in this Bible study.”

Ruth applauded politely along with the other women thinking that she should be grateful but Pastor Larry left so little room for discussion. He had called her on her questions before saying that they indicated a disobedient heart. But if Joe was not wanting to talk about the passage and Pastor Larry was leading the women’s study she didn’t know where she would turn and as Pastor Larry continually emphasized she had a great deal to atone for to get from underneath God’s judgement. She kept a polite smile up as she sighed internally and wondered if her questions would ever be answered. Then she sighed again; there she was asking questions instead of being obedient. Could she ever be like Miriam?

Pastor Larry began by reading all of Ruth. Each woman opened her Bible to read along with him. They all had NIV. Pastor Larry said that it was the only translation that was inerrant and had preached against using the RSV which had included the heresy that Mary might not be a virgin by translating Isaiah as young woman. Pastor Larry was even more against any version that claimed to be feminist or open. There was only one translation that had any validity in his mind. Since Pastor Larry was the pastor and as such the head of the church, the women agreed.

Pastor Larry talked about how Ruth was an obedient woman who held to God’s plan. She saw the better options in living with God even as Naomi tested her; telling her to return to her mother’s house. And this phrase mother’s house showed how Naomi was testing her since men ran the only proper households in God’s realm. When Ruth showed proper obedience by holding to her faithful household, then God provided. Naomi was the proper older woman in teaching the younger to listen to men. Naomi taught Ruth to do whatever Boaz wanted, as Boaz was the proper man in the household after the death of her husband and sons.

Margaret was grateful for Pastor Larry’s explanation and resolved to be a more obedient wife. She looked at Miriam as she left and was reminded of the days that she wore long-sleeves to hide her bruises. It was good to be married to someone where she didn’t have to hide things. She had wanted to ask about how Ruth could be a member of the Israelites when also a Moabitess. Deuteronomy 23:3 seemed to say that she couldn't be one and David wasn't ten generations from her coming into the community, yet he danced for the Lord and his son built the temple.

copyright Roger Victoria 2007

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