“And he said to them. ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.’ Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother and Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.
But you say: If a man tells his father or his mother, ‘Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God).
Then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.’” Mark 7:6-12.
And thus making void an opportunity for Naomi’s restoration…
Which came first… .the chicken or the egg… .the tradition or the truth? Sometimes it is hard to say. Who was this unindoctrinated creature bowing before Boaz like a humble servant? This Moabite without heritage or promise, doctrine or Israelite rights had born the burden of Naomi like a faithful friend of justice. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor…” Zechariah 7:9-10.
Cross bearers are often found in the most unexpected places, among the most unexpected people, doing what they know they ought to do because it is right - rendering justice, showing kindness and mercy to their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers… .whether or not anyone ever knows.
Cross Bearers lose much. They lose the praise of those who honor traditional “Corban”. They lose some sleep and their backs get tired from “picking up barley”. They lose homeland, family ties… .the promise of earthly security. They are those “…of whom the world is not worthy…” Hebrews 11:38, because they work not for praise, but for the love of justice, kindness, mercy and Naomi. They carry the shame of a foreigner in a foreign land where their cross bearing is not rewarded. They are often strangers to conventional custom and creed as they put food in the mouth of Naomi - as they honor a life needing saved.
Ruth had everything to give and nothing to gain… .nothing particularly earthly to hope for… .unless her cross bearing was noticed. But it hadn’t even entered her mind. It was not the least expected. Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land and she was just gathering sheaves for Naomi….
Who are you working for? Are you still harboring an earthly expectation? Or have you let it go to serve Naomi?