By Steven L. McKenzie
During this much-needed reminder for these suffering to dwell trustworthy lives this day, Steven McKenzie insists that the Bible's actual message leads Christians clear of the evils of racism and narrowness of bigotry to God's imaginative and prescient of humanity and harmony.
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Extra resources for All God's Children
Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Page 44 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. So may Yahweh do to me and more— only death will separate me from you. Naomi does not make any more effort to persuade Ruth to stay behind, because her determination is plain (1:18). She does not explain why, only that she left full but has returned empty (1:21). At any rate, his Page 45 servants point out what a hard worker Ruth is, noting that she has been in the field all day from early morning (2:7).
But herein lies Matthew's theological lesson: the sinless one came among sinful humanity as one of them in order to redeem them before God. Ruth's story remains, and she may be the best example of these qualities. But then they, like their father, also die prematurely, so that Naomi is left alone with her daughtersinlaw, Ruth and Orpah. Now she wishes for them the same kind treatment from God. And their chances of finding other husbands will be better among their own people. Naomi tells her daughtersinlaw that with her they have no hope of security, since she is too old to have any more sons (1:11), and even if she could remarry and bear sons, they would have to wait until the sons were grown to marry them (1:12–13).
We suggested that this tradition was part of a concern for religious "purity" from a relatively late date in Israel's history, and that the wholesale annihilation depicted in these texts never actually occurred. Indeed, from a historical perspective, the ethnic distinction between Israelites and Canaanites is rather vague. Page 33 Moses' Wives Israel's birth as a nation, according to the Bible, took place at the exodus from Egypt under Moses. When Israel was a child I loved him, And out of Egypt I called my son.