May 23 – Deliverance Through Bitterness – Ruth 1

Read Ruth 1:1-22

The story of Ruth and Naomi is often used to teach about friendship and loyalty.  However, if the reader doesn’t look deeper, they are missing out on a very important lesson.

Taking the focus off of Ruth, let’s look at Naomi. Here is a woman who was living in a foreign land because of a famine in her homeland. Not only was she away from her extended family but also away from fellow believers in the one true God.  Then tragedy happened.  Naomi’s husband died, leaving her to live the rest of her life as a widow. But luckily, she had two married sons who, along with their wives, could take care of her.

The Bible says they lived there in Moab for ten more years.  So, for ten years, Ruth and her sister-in-law, Orpah, lived with and learned from Naomi. They had ten long years to not only learn from her how to take care of a household but also about the love relationship between Naomi and her God.

Then tragedy hit again!

Both of Naomi’s sons died!  I can’t even imagine the sorrow of losing not only one but two sons would bring! But now they were three widows! The shock, grief, sorrow and confusion they must have felt would have been unbearable if they didn’t have their relationship with not only each other but also the one true God!  The God that Ruth was willing to give up her own homeland and family for!  A faith in God that they had witnessed in Naomi and had been building in their own lives over the past ten years. A faith that she lived day by day in good times and bad.  A faith that was a relationship with a God who loved them and was open to her questions and concerns, even her anger sometimes.

That is the hidden story in the first chapter of Ruth.

What does your day to day faith look like?  What kind of faith are the people around you seeing? How about your own children? When you are faced with troubles, do you still trust in God and that He will carry you through?

Do these lines from this old hymn ring true for you?

I know not how this saving faith

To me He did impart

Nor how believing in His Word

Wrought peace within my heart

I know not what of good or ill

May be reserved for me

Of weary ways and golden days

Before His face I see

Refrain

But I know whom I have believed

And am persuaded that He is able

To keep that which I’ve committed

Unto Him against that day

Do you REALLY know and trust whom you believe in? Are you confident in that? If not, why not? Time to start living your faith and letting the world see what a relationship with God can do for them! Go forth boldly.

God’s got your back!

Pat Arnold

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