Tag Archives: Ruth 3

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 68/260: Ruth

Read Ruth 3:10-11

Selfless Love

Ruth’s loyalty and commitment to her mother-in-law is a highlight of this woman’s virtue. When she presented herself to Boaz, he noted that her options were not limited. He said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:10-11).

Many commentators believe that Boaz may have been as old as 80 at this time. Ruth, as a Moabitess not bound to Jewish laws and customs, could have decided to marry someone closer to her own age. She could have sought after someone whose personality and interests more closely matched her own.

Yet her devotion to her mother-in-law was unwavering. She truly meant it when she told Naomi, “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” (Ruth 1:16). Such allegiance is praiseworthy, and the people of Bethlehem took note of Ruth’s virtuous dedication. She wanted nothing but the best for Naomi, even if it meant sacrificing her own wants and desires.

We are faced with difficult choices every day. Will we choose the things that brighten someone else’s life? Will we seek after our own happiness, regardless of how such affects another person?

More importantly, will we choose the things that glorify God? Jesus explained that the heathen peoples concerned themselves with food and drink and clothing, but that such anxiety was unnecessary. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). In the kingdom, we must be more concerned with the wellbeing of our fellowman. Paul wrote, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).

Ruth cared deeply for her mother-in-law and gave more thought to Naomi’s security than her own. Shouldn’t we do the same?

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).