Wednesday, August 7
Today we meet Naomi, the widowed wife of Elimelech, and her two widowed daughters-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth. The bond between these three women is strong, but as this small group faces the possibility of starving because of the famine in Moab, Naomi decides it's time to return to her homeland. Although all three women begin the journey, Naomi soon instructs her daughters to return to their blood relatives so that they can remarry and have a full life. It's a deeply emotional and tearful exchange. While Orpah decides to follow Naomi's request, Ruth chooses to remain by Naomi's side—in spite of the fact that she and Naomi have no idea what awaits them on a road that will be tough without the protection and financial support of a male family member (husband, brother or son).
Although we've just met Ruth, it's already clear that she is a good and exceptional woman. Some of the words that came to mind as I thought about Ruth were caring, supportive, loyal, kind, responsible and courageous. But there was one word that stood out to me more than all the others—selfless. Ruth willingly chose to put Naomi's interests before her own. It's obvious from this account that she loved Naomi greatly. Thus her steadfast commitment to stay with Naomi no matter what the future held for them (vs. 16-17). What an example for us about loving, helping and serving others.
Would you describe yourself as a "Ruth"? Why or why not? On a scale of 1-10 (1 being selfish and 10 being selfless), where would you rate yourself when it comes to willingly giving of your time, abilities and/or finances to help people? Take a few minutes to think about how you can or will put the interests of someone around you (at home, work, school or church) before your own this week. Then when the opportunity presents itself, take action! Tami
Powered by 4 is all about engaging God's Word and living it out--in community. So if it's encouragement you want or motivation you need, join the discussion on the P4 Blog--a place to weigh in on the daily scripture as well as share thoughts & questions.