I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. (Psalm 142:1-3 NIV)
…Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. (Ruth 1:9 KJV)
And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. (Ruth 1:14 KJV)
When I was in Middle School and High School, I took a liking to the science fiction genre. I read stories by Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. In many of their tales, they examined the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. I remember how those stories drew me in. The possibility that we are not alone, and that there might be life elsewhere in the universe seemed fascinating to me.
I no longer read science fiction books. Instead, I read the Bible. The Bible affirms the premise that we are not alone in the universe. There is, however, NOTHING fictional about this affirmation. In fact, the Bible makes us aware that everything we think, say and do is thought, said and done in the presence of an everlasting God. Therefore, we are not alone.
While modern man lives and breathes and acts as though God does not exist, the people in the Bible are aware that there is someone out there besides them. Even the heathen acknowledge His existence, though they do not worship him. They fear him, even though He is not their God. (Genesis 41:38, Daniel 4:34, Jonah 1:6)
As I read the book of Ruth, I realized that the three women raising their voices as they wept had a deeper meaning than just an increase in volume. They were raising their voices to “someone.” They were pouring out their hearts to the great “I AM”, Yahweh.
I like the King James rendering of these passages: “and they lifted up their voice.” They cried out knowing that God was there to receive their complaints. The Hebrew term used here is “ansa”, which simply means to raise or to carry. They were aware that when they cried out, their weeping would be carried upward toward the LORD of the universe.
Dearest Heavenly Father,
How wonderful is your WORD! When we read your love letter to us, we are assured that we are not alone, that you listen, that you love us, and that you care. Thank you for this blessed assurance. We lift up our voices to you in a prayer of gratitude for and acknowledgement of your presence in our lives. Thank you for being there for us.
In the name of Jesus, who will never leave or forsake us,