Posts Tagged ‘Joshua 2’

Rahab and Ruth

 

I was lying in bed the day after surgery thinking as I gently rubbing my swollen, sore, stiff knees when I had the idea of naming my legs Rahab and Ruth. I am sure your first thought is, “how did you come up with those names?” Both were Old Testament women with fascinating stories. The struggles and decisions of life had been hard and bruising on both women but when God got a hold of them and changed their hearts, they had new purpose in living. The results were life changing with New Testament implications.

So, with that introduction, meet Rahab (left) and Ruth (right)….

My legs: Rahab and Ruth:

Each leg is so different. Ruth is more flexible and responding to therapy but Rahab is more stiff and swollen. Both of my knees had severe osteoarthritis, bone spurs and was bone on bone. The surgery on Rehab was a little more intense.  When I got to my room after recovery, full of drugs, spinal and nerve blocks, I lifted and bent my knees and exclaimed to the nurse, “Look what I can do”! That was a short-lived wonder woman proclamation!

I had several setbacks along the way and very quickly “wonder woman” became “I wonder if woman”! At two weeks, the  therapist is looking to see a 90 degree bend in the knee and at three weeks, 110. At three weeks, I am just getting to 90 on Ruth and 55 on Rahab. This is very concerning to me as I am not sure what has gone wrong. What have I not done right? Everyone says everyone is different and even legs on the same person are different. I have done my exercises faithfully, before and after surgery. I think Rahab is holding Ruth back because some exercises such as the squats, you can’t do with a “straight wooden leg”.

Therapy is working hard with me and talking to my surgeon to break up the scar tissue and get more movement. Yesterday was a rough therapy day but we got 10-15 more degrees in each leg. If we still can’t get what I need, they will put me to sleep (as it is very painful) and manipulate the knees to break the adhesions.

Biblical Rahab.

Rahab first appears in the Old Testament in Joshua 2. The Israelites were poised to enter the promised land. Joshua sent out two spies to survey the walled city of Jericho and the surrounding area. Before the city gates were closed for the night, the two spies slipped into the city and went to a house built on the wall, the home of a prostitute, Rahab. This was a perfect place to stay because “visitors” were always coming and going. It wasn’t long until the king was notified that strangers were in the city. After a thorough search of the city, the men were not found because Rahab had cleverly hidden them under piles of flax drying on her roof. Rahab had heard about the Israelites and revealed to the spies the great fear of the people for them because they had heard how their God had done mighty things. After assuring Rahab that she and her family would be saved when they conquered the city if she followed the guidelines laid out, she let them down with a cord out of her window and the spies escaped to the mountains until it was safe to return to Joshua. A very short time later the Israelities marched silently around the city once a day for six days and on the seventh day seven times. At the designated time they blew their trumpets and shouted and the walls fell in a heap of rubble except for Rahab’s house. She and her family was rescued. The detailed story is in Joshua 2. Hebrews 11:31 records that Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe because she received the spies in peace.

Her next appearance in scripture is Matthew 1:5 in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Salmon and Rahab begot Boaz.  Wouldn’t you like to know the love story of Salmon and Rahab?

Biblical Ruth.

The next line in the genealogy states that Boaz and Ruth begat Obed , Obed begat Jesse the father of King David. Twenty-eight generations later the family line ends with the birth of Jesus Christ.

The whole book of Ruth in the Old Testament is given to the story of Ruth.  This also is an amazing story. Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, lived in Bethlehem during the time of the judges. There was a severe famine and they moved to the land of Moab where the sons eventually married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpal. After ten years, Elimelech and both of his sons died leaving three grieving widows. Noami decided it was time to go back to her homeland and her people.  The two daughter-in-laws started out with her but Naomi begged them to stay with their families as she was too old to produce more sons for them to marry. Orpal turned back but Ruth refused to leave her beloved mother-in-law.

Ruth’s heartfelt response to Naomi has gone down in history as a beloved commitment which is frequently used in Christian weddings.

“Entreat me not to leave you or to turn back from following after you.

For where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge.

Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.”

Ruth 1:16-17

 

It was harvest time when they arrived in Bethlehem. Ruth asked permission of her mother-in-law to go and gleam grain behind the reapers in the field. She “happened” in the field of Boaz who was close kin of Elimelech. Boaz noticed Ruth and inquired who she was. He had already heard her story and knew of her loyalty to Naomi.  Boaz invited her to only gleam behind his reapers, provided her with food and water, gave her extra grain to take along home, and admonished his workers to watch out for her and not harm her.

The culture in those times was very different from what we know and understand. It was the responsibility of the closest kin to marry a widowed woman to produce a son to carry on the dead man’s family name. The details of the story can be read in the book of Ruth. There was one man closer kin but he declined to marry Ruth so Boaz willingly took her as his wife. Rahab is now the mother-in-law of Ruth.

Two women: a prostitute and a Moabite. Two women who knew heartbreak, sorrow, disappointment and the bruising rigors of life. Two women who met God and married into the Israelite tribe which was strictly forbidden by God. Two women whose lives were given new purpose and from whom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born.

I kind of like the symbolism of their stories. My worn out knees need new life and purpose.

Other blog post relating to my surgery:

I Can Help You!

Highly Motivated

Domino Effect

Ready or Not, Here I Go

 

Hide and Seek

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I took this picture of two young calves resting or “hiding” in the buttercup laden pasture the other evening.   I don’t know what or how a mama cow tells her newborn baby “to stay put” but she will often stash or “hide” her baby in the grass, weeds or woods while she goes off to graze and the babes will usually  wait patiently for her to come back.  These calves were a little older but even when we drove near them they stayed hunkered down in their hiding spot.

It reminded me of one of my favorite sets of grandkid pictures (2008). The grandkids were playing a game of hide and seek. Lauren and Ryan hid their faces and counted while Emily and Karla found a place to hide and wait to be found.

 

Hide Seek-Ryan Lauren-2008

Hide_Seek-Karla_Emily-2008

Hiding can be a game of great fun. I remember playing hide and seek and  the “counter” would have to count to 100 and then holler, “A bushel of wheat, a bushel of rye. Whose not ready, holler I”.  You also hide when you are scared or seriously running from someone one or something  because of fear of being caught or found out.  I remember one time, way back in the 70’s, I was sitting at a stoplight in Richmond and got rear-ended from a distracted driver who then fled the scene. I was able to get his license plate number and the police found him several hours later hiding in the attic of his home.

There are some fascinating stories in the Bible of people who thought they could hide.  Hide and seek is as old as Adam and Eve who thought they could hide from God!  God went along with their little game and as He walked in the garden looking for them He calls out,  “Where are you”? They were hiding because they had disobeyed God and because of their sin they became aware that they were naked. They didn’t want God to see them so they hid behind  a tree! (Genesis 3:8-9)

  • Moses was hid in a woven basket on the river as a baby by his mother. He was found by Pharoah’s daughter who adopted him as her own and he grew up in the palace of the very king who had issued the order to kill all the newborn Hebrew males. (Exodus 2:1-10).
  • Later, Moses fled to the desert of Midian because he had killed a man and he feared for his life. He lived as a shepherd for 40 years. This experience prepared him for the huge task of leading the children of Israel through the desert. (Exodus 3)
  • Joshua sent men to spy out Jericho. They were in the home of Rahab when the king received word that they were in the city. The officers went looking for them but Rahab hid them under stalks of flax piled on the roof top.  This heathen prostitute was saved from destruction because of her faith and her name is found in the genealogy of King David and Jesus Christ. (Joshua 2, Matthew 1)
  • Saul, at his coronation, hid in the baggage. (I Samuel 10:21)
  • David, fearful for his life, for years hid in caves, forests and deserts from the wrath of King Saul who relentlessly tried to trap and kill him. (Most of I Samuel is the story of David’s hiding from Saul. Several examples are I Samuel 23, 24, and 26)
  • Jonah tried to flee from God. He hid in the bottom of a ship and ended up in the belly of a whale in the bottom of the ocean because he didn’t want to go preach to the wicked city of Ninevah. (Jonah)
  • Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb because of the threat on his life by Queen Jezebel. He hid in a cave but God found him and  said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19)
  • About two years after the birth of Jesus, his parents fled to Egypt in the middle of the night to protect and hide Jesus from King Herod who, after a visit from the wise men, sought to kill the young child. (Matthew 2:13-15).
  • A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years thought she could hide in a crowd of people and just touch the hem of Jesus garment without him knowing. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”  The woman when she realized that she was exposed, came with fear and trembling and fell down before Jesus. And Jesus said, “Because of your faith, you are healed. Go in peace.” (Luke 8: 43-48).

David penned a beautiful, heart-felt, poignant psalm about the presence of God and his inability to hide from Him.  David knew, he had first hand experience. David had a sordid affair after spying a beautiful woman taking a bath while on a stroll one evening on the roof top of his palace.  He tried to hide his sin and in the process multiplied his evil deed by ordering the death of the Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, who was one of his thirty closest advisors.  God spoke to the prophet Nathan who confronted David and his sin was exposed. (II Samuel 11-12). In deep anguish David repented and these words poured from his sorrowful heart.

 

 Psalms 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Whether for fun or for real, we can hide, but almost always we are found.  And guess what….we are quite often as obvious as Adam and Eve with our shiny backsides sticking out from behind a tree!

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