Ruth 1:14 – Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. NKJV
There was the sound of crying but one cry was distinctly different. There were two crying but one was crying tears of joy… the other crying tears of sorrow. One cried because the journey of following Christ was too hard, uncomfortable and cost her everything… the other cried because she was being called by God and would gladly suffer to obtain all God had for her. One kissed the promise of God and walked away… the other clung to the promise of God with all her might and pursued His presence. One sought a comfortable faith… the other sought God’s promise at any price.
Two were crying but God was pleased with only one cry.
I heard God say some of you have been clinging to the promises of God… all hell broke out against you but you didn’t let go. Many who were once with you have left you. Like Ruth… you will be rewarded. Hold fast to your faith. Don’t try and figure it all out. God’s promises will overtake you. Why? Because you have the right cry… the cry for more of God and more of His presence.
by Pastor Brad Kuechler
How fragrant your cologne; your name is like its spreading fragrance. No wonder all the young women love you!” —Song Of Solomon 1:3 (NKJV)
The Shulamite woman takes her love even deeper. She can’t help but think about her lover’s fragrant cologne. Now, I know that our minds tend to think of a costly brand of cologne like Creed Aventus or Bleu de Chanel but remember, her beloved was a shepherd of sheep. Shepherds were not extremely wealthy, and they smelled like sheep most of the time; however, that is what she loved about him. He was invested in the lives of sheep. He cared for them. He loved them. He lived with them. Her shepherd lover may not have had the riches of the world to buy the cologne of worldly kings, but she loved his fragrance.
In the same way, Jesus is our great Shepherd, and His cologne represents the fragrance of heaven, His love, and the sweet anointing of God. The Shulamite woman loved his fragrance. She loved his smell. She loved the smell of service, care, sacrifice, and love that produces the sweet smell of God’s anointing.
When she thought of his smell, she was reminded of his dedication to caring for those who couldn’t care for themselves—sheep.
She felt safer in the arms of her beloved than in the arms of all the wealth, recognition, and comfort King Solomon could offer. God is so consumed with taking care of us and being so close to us that He became one of us and shared our smell. Remember, God loved us so much that He became a man, Jesus Christ. He loved us so much that He lived with us, sweated with us, smelled like us, and cared for us. Listen, God is dedicated to His sheep. You might be going through some hard times right now, but God is right there with you. He understands the struggles you face because He has walked in the shoes of rejection, pain, and even feelings of being separated from His Father on the cross. He took on our smell and our pain. God will uphold you. Stay connected to the vine. Stay in His word. Soon you will birth inward fruit that will bring outward blessing. Be bold. Be kind. Be loving to all. Be God’s child.
by PastorBrad Kuechler