Time for a cuppa

I’ve been looking forward to Ruth ever since we got to the Promised Land. I understand Ruth, I understand where God is in the everyday world: in kindness as giver or receiver, in support when daily life is so very dull – imagine spending your days picking up 13 kilos of grains of barley – that there seems no purpose to it. I even understand that the trivia of everyday is a reason for the grand scale and adventure story tone of the books of the Old Testament.

And it seems to me, knowing nothing of who was allowed to read/hear the books of the Old Testament that someone suddenly realized that women were getting a bad press – they were either wittingly the cause of men’s downfall or victims – sacrificial offerings or unwitting pawns.

Then along came Deborah – Judges 4. And she’s a bit like Lara Croft.

Which is what leads me, via the Lara Croft revamp that happened earlier this year, to wondering what the scene was like when they first decided to put Ruth in.

Had the fact that women, now that peace had come, the journeying was over, begun to take a bigger part in religion? The redesigning of Lara, apparently was prompted by the discovery that there is a bigger market now for women gamers and the old Lara wasn’t designed to appeal to them. In other words, did the powers that were finally realize –and what is wrong with clichés – that women are people too?

Were there women there in the decision to include Ruth, wanting a little better role model for their daughters?

Was it men only, wanting their sons to show a little discernment after hearing them envy Samson’s wreck of a love life, wanting them to realize that they couldn’t keep on trying to emulate his ‘if-she’s-not-a relative-she’s-a-backstabbing-whore’ guide book to relationships?

I like the way that the commandment to landowners is followed by Boaz, he is not greedy, he does not take advantage of the vulnerable foreign widow in his fields, he does what he should, and he gives the credit for it to God.

Whatever the reason for its inclusion, the break in the ongoing saga of warfare is welcome. As The Alethiophile says: ‘Only occasionally do we get to hear from the ordinary people, living their lives in the face of the circumstances they face, as Ruth and Naomi do.’
These are both strong women making the best of their lives and trusting God.

In Judges, 4:8 Deborah tells Barak how to defeat the enemy, ‘And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.’
Naomi does not ask for Ruth’s support.

But just as you get into that and are deciding that Ruth and Naomi would make better company in a tight spot or on a sofa, the lifestyle ads are over and it’s back to THE BIG FEATURE (aren’t I showing my age!) – more murder mayhem revenge and justification in the shape of Samuel 1.

Particular thanks to
A Ruth-less bible #DigiDisciple (@TheAlethiophile)

About Judtih Murton