These Two!

Exploring the seldom used text of Ruth 4:11.

H. M. S. RICHARDS, Speaker, The Voice of Prophecy

A bible text seldom used in sermons is Ruth 4: 11, especially the phrase, "like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel." The house referred to is a family —the family of Israel.

It may seem strange that Holy Scripture does not say that Abraham or Isaac or Jacob built the house of Israel. But no, the declaration is that Rachel and Leah, these two, built that famous house. The mean­ing is, of course, that these two women were mothers in the house of Jacob. Notice that in this place, not the father, but these mothers are the builders—these two!

But in another sense all true Christian women are builders of houses. Especially is this true of ministers' wives. They build or they tear down. And this is no new idea, for more than three thousand years ago an acute observer wrote: "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish pluck­eth it down with her hands" (Prov. 14:1). And that is a beautiful or a sad truth, de­pending upon which part of the statement is being carried out at the time. Builders or wreckers! Either, or!

A minister is built up or dragged down by his marriage. Fortunately, most work­ers are built up, helped, made successful, blessed by the comfort, counsel, and work of a good woman in the home.

There are times when Mrs. Minister must lead out in some extracurricular work, some more public part of church and Christian service. There are exceptions to all cases, but, by and large, the best help­meet for a minister is the consecrated wife who works unobtrusively to keep her hus­band physically, mentally, and spiritually fit. In helping him succeed, she builds not only her own house but the house of God. She may not be much in the limelight now, but she will be in the "throne light" hereafter. Not only will her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband praise her (especially at home), but the Lord will say, "Well done!"—and that is the best of all. By keeping a happy Chris­tian home for her preacher, she builds a house that will outlast the pyramids and shine like the sun.

Is there any higher ambition or accom­plishment than this ministry to the min­istry?

Rachel and Leah—these two!

Today hundreds, thousands of Rachels and Leahs build the house of Israel. Build­ing, building until the great house is fin­ished!

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H. M. S. RICHARDS, Speaker, The Voice of Prophecy

April 1956

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