Tag Archives: Ruth 1

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 67/260: Naomi

Read Ruth 1:8-9; 3:1-5

Work While You Pray

There is an old saying: “Pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you.” We see this adage at work in the life of Naomi.

In the first chapter of Ruth, after the death of Naomi’s husband and two sons, she told Ruth and Orpah, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:8-9). Ruth declines and stays with Naomi. Then in the third chapter, Naomi gave Ruth instructions on how to behave in order that she might become Boaz’s wife.

Naomi prayed, and then she worked! She was not content to simply pray and sit back and let whatever happens happen. She wanted to work with God to bring about the answer to her prayer.

Consider the model prayer our Lord taught to His disciples. He said that they should pray for daily bread; did that mean they should not work to obtain bread? Should they just wait for God to feed them? Does He not feed His children through the blessing of employment?

Paul told the saints in Ephesus to pray for him, “that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20). Paul was going to join his actions to the Ephesians’ prayers.

When we pray for the borders of the Lord’s kingdom to be expanded, for His church to grow, do we sit idly by and just wait for someone to come asking for a Bible study? Or do we actively seek people to teach? The Great Commission is clear: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Should we pray for evangelistic opportunities? Of course! Yet, we cannot wait for people to come to us; we must go to them!

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 65/260: Ruth and Naomi

Read Ruth 1:1-18

The Impact of Strong Faith

The book of Ruth records one of the greatest love stories in history, and it begins with the love between a woman named Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth. Naomi’s husband died, then her two sons who had married women of Moab died.

Orpah and Ruth journeyed with their mother-in-law as she set forth to Bethlehem, as was the custom. There was no indication that they would make the entire journey with her; they would have likely stopped at the border of Moab as Naomi continued. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to remain in their homeland and find suitable husbands, as she did not expect to bear any more children herself to raise as husbands for them. She herself would return to her own home in Bethlehem.

One daughter-in-law, Orpah, reluctantly followed Naomi’s wishes. The other, Ruth, clung to her mother-in-law and claimed an allegiance to her. She had no interest in leaving this woman that she had grown to love during her decade-long marriage to her son.

Naomi demonstrates her strong faith in God, praying for His blessings upon her widowed daughters-in-law. “The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:8-9).

The impact Naomi’s faith had upon Ruth is clear as Ruth says, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).

Has your faith influenced anyone as strongly as Naomi’s affected Ruth? What love these two women had for each other! What loyalty Ruth exhibited toward Naomi! Can we develop that type of love and loyalty toward our spiritual family in the church today? Can we “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10), seeking to serve each other and love each other as we serve and love God together?