Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, August 21 2015
How Naomi’s life and love drew her daughter-in-law to God.
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” (Ruth 1:16)
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Naomi lost her husband to the cold hands of death, but her two sons and their wives remained. It seems that they had a relatively good relationship. Even the daughters-in-law loved Naomi. Eventually, tragedy struck her loving family again and both of her sons died. This distressed her deeply. She went to her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to bid them farewell. She wanted them to leave her alone since her sons were dead. She said that if she were to remarry and have two more sons, they would not wait for them to come of age to marry again, so they should return to their families and to their own Moabite gods.
Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye and went back to her family. Ruth, on the other hand, would not leave her. It may have been in part because she truly loved Naomi and did not want her to be alone, but there must have been more. She also must have experienced the blessing of Naomi’s quiet witness. “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.” (Ruth 1:16-18).
How powerful is someone’s witness to the glory of God, when as a result of it, a young woman refuses to go back to her own mother’s house to possibly remarry, in order to be close to a widow? Ruth not only stayed with Naomi, but she chose to accept Naomi’s God. The loving relationship they shared, inspired Ruth to convert to the God of heaven.
The question I must ask myself is if my witness is so strong that others would rather choose my God, than to live a life of convenience. Is my experience with Christ so attractive that they would like to have a similar experience? It is a solemn thought. Allowing the love of God to shine through us is our duty. When we do this, others will want to know the Lord. So, drop someone an encouraging line today; buy someone groceries; change a flat tire; mow a lawn; reach out to your estranged in-laws; or maybe even pay a child’s school fee. Whatever you choose to do, be certain to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us how to be great witnesses for you and share your love with others. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.