It's a powerful story that we have learned so many lessons from. It's a story that shows us the power of family relationships, trust in God, His timing, His purpose and the power of sticking together. It is the story of Gods's grace in the midst of very difficult circumstances. It's the love story that so many women refer to when we speak about waiting on our "Boaz". It's a story that involves quite a few people but only two are mentioned the most. You guessed it - The Book of Ruth. Many of us have read this four chapter book plenty of times. I recently spent a great amount of time studying the Book of Ruth with a focus on Naomi.
Naomi was living in a time of famine. She had relocated to Moab with her husband in search of a better life. It was in Moab where she lost everything. Her husband died and ten years later, her sons were killed. She felt that she had lost everything. Naomi knew God, had a relationship with God, trusted God but for this, she blamed God. She had lost faith but had no idea that her ray of hope would manifest through her relationship and love for Ruth. After the loss of her husband and her two sons, she though that it would be best to return to Israel but encourgaged Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab to remarry. This was a selfless act. Ruth clinged to her and said “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more" (Ruth 1:16-18). Just when Naomi thought that all was lost, she was encouraged by the faithfulness of Ruth.
Ruth was faithful to Naomi, but Naomi was faithful to God. As I began to ask God why Ruth was so faithful to Naomi, it became clear that it was because of Naomi's character and her covering - God. Ruth was drawn to the way Naomi lived her life - according to Godly standards. She was selfless and was quick to consider the needs of others. Naomi allowed Ruth to see and feel the joy and anguish in her relationship with God. Ruth and Naomi had a bond with God at the center. Ruth was able to see that Naomi was the type of woman that could help her and push her towards her destiny. She gave up the security of family to learn from Naomi. How powerful! Can you think of a woman that you admire this much? A woman that has a true relationship with God and is concerned about helping others to reach their best potential? A woman that considers the needs of others and not just her own.
Ruth and Naomi helped one another. When Naomi felt that she was in her darkest hour, Ruth refused to leaver her. We each have a calling on our lives to advance the Kingdom of God by helping his children. Naomi exemplified a woman that was committed to helping someone in need. Ladies, it is time for us to start reaching ou to one another if we are not already doing so. We must learn how to relate to one another. It is ok to admit our weaknesses, fears and loss of faith. It happens to the best of us. It is ok to be transparent in building the bonds of friendships. Naomi did all of these things and Ruth was drawn to her because of it. This gave Naomi an opportunity to help Ruth reach the destiny that God had created for her. Through Naomi's selflessness, she was blessed. God took her from poor to prosperous and from famine to harvest! We must be willing to heed the cries of our sisters. The last thing that we must do is to rid ourselves of competitive spirits. We must work on Raising Naomis - Women who make an impact on the lives of others!
Be a woman that people are drawn to and not away from. Be the kind of woman that considers the needs of others, sometimes before the needs and desires of yourself. Be loving and show the power of God through the life that you live. God used Naomi to bless the world by being in the lineage of Jesus Christ. God wants to use you too! Our blessings may not come to us but they may be passed down to the people in our lives or even saved for future generations. Be the kind of woman that God chooses to use!
Until Next Time,