With us

Chapter 19

Good Monday Morning to this week 18 of 2020 (week 7 of lockdown)

And look, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “may Yahweh be with you.” And they said to him, “May Yahweh bless you”. Ruth 2:4

I’m not sure if you have realized, but around here the greetings upon arrival and departure have changed these past weeks. Not just that we don’t shake hands or give hugs, no it’s also in the way we speak and leave each other after a conversation, a web-meeting or a phone call.

The greeting of Boaz to the reapers was special in many ways. The greeting “Peace” was very common, yet the “with you” was quite unique in this setting and narrative. It doesn’t only refer to Yahweh but also to the one making the greeting, to Boaz as a man of good character and one taking responsibility.

“With you” refers to His divine presence. Ofen in OT times the narrative brought out the topics of “peace and prosperity”, travel, war, “liberation and deliverance” yet also divine commissioning.

With you 
I will be with you ….
The Lord was with them ….
God was in their midst ….

With you 
Accompaniment, protection and deliverance!
Often in situations as with Solomon as with David.
God is with Israel and with their forefathers.
Yahweh’s presence on the journey of Israel back from exile.

With you
This Jewish narrative points to exceptional experiences; cognitive, emotional, physical, spiritual, individual and within the community. On example is Moses and the ark, both
define the presence of the divine with the words. He is “among” you, he is “in your midst”.

This OT presence saying “with you” is foundational element of Jewish faith. Israels leaders and prophets emphasize again and again, Yahweh is with us and we are His people.

God is very often spoken of as “in dwelling with” his people. Yet there is also the even more dramatic call “with you” in the final spiritual-conflict victory passages:

For Adonai is holy, and the King of glory is with us, among with the holy beings. Warrior angels are in our muster, and He that is mighty in war is in our throng. The army of his spirit marches “with us”.

Or in the story of Joseph where his master suspected him of doing witchcraft until he saw the Shekhinah standing And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.over him! Gen. 39.3 “And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”

In the boundaries of His people, the people of Yahweh, God’s sovereignty is reaffirmed
and His divine “withness – with you” is declared and proclaimed as a critical “must” for the rebuilding of of His community and place of His presence.

God with us is a parameter of faith. With the God of the OT to the God of the followers of and story of Jesus, His presence is “with us” as the new people of God.

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deut. 20.4

But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2.4

Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares the Lord God. Ezekiel 34.30

Prayer

Yahweh be with me, before me, behind me,
Christ in me, beneath me, above me,
Yahweh on my right, to my left,
Christ where I sit, where I arise,
May Yahweh, our God be “with us”  ever with us.

Wishing you a very good week.
Philemon 

 

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