The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat

Published 7:45 pm Monday, March 12, 2018

We’re, Mary Ella and I, reading through the Bible this year with our two churches using the Daily Walk Bible. Right now, we’re in Joshua and Judges and we’ll soon be in Ruth. The theme of Joshua is victory and the theme of Judges is failure; ESPN would call it “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

It started out so well in Genesis 2, where “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh… where a man and his wife “were both naked, and they felt no shame.” But “the thrill of victory” didn’t last long; in Genesis 3 it became “the agony of defeat.” And in a country where we have 33 plus genders in North Carolina and 17 dead bodies in a high school in Florida and “fake news” pouring into our living rooms every night, we’re living with “the agony of defeat” and lots of people are asking what happened.

There are as many reasons as there are people living in America, but at the top of my list is the failure of the family. So, I’m looking forward to reading the beautiful love story in Ruth. Naomi and her husband moved from Bethlehem to Moab to escape a drought and food shortage, but her husband and both sons died and left her with two daughters-in-law, one of those was Ruth. So, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem where Ruth, who went with her, met and married Boaz.

“So, Boaz took Ruth home as his wife. The Lord blessed her, and she became pregnant and had a son. The women said to Naomi, ‘Praise the Lord! He has given you a grandson today to take care of you. May the boy become famous in Israel! Your daughter-in-law loves you, and has done more for you than seven sons. And now she has given you a grandson, who will bring new life to you and give you security in your old age.’ Naomi took the child, held him close, and took care of him. The women of the neighborhood named the boy Obed.” (Ruth 4)

I remember Billy Graham saying, “God has a plan for your life.” Ruth is the incredible and heart-warming story of a family following God’s plan.” God sent Naomi to Moab to bring back a daughter-in-law named Ruth who married Boaz. They had a son Obed who had a son Jesse who had a son named David, and a couple of thousand years later a baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem.He was named Jesus, but he was often called the son of David. He is God’s plan to overcome “the agony of defeat” and return to “the thrill of victory!” If only we’d remember and return to God’s plan for our lives and allow him back into our families and schools.