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Day 1: Ruth 1
There is so much packed into this short book of the Bible. But for today, I’d like to focus on just a couple of scriptures from Chapter 1. Let’s jump down to verse 16 & 17. I love Ruth’s heart in this. Even though she was a Moabite woman, which historically the Israelites were forbidden from communing with, she felt her heart drawn to Israel. She states in verse 16 that “Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
The other part that jumped out to me was the fact that Naomi and Ruth returned at the beginning of the barley harvest. Here they are, two widows, returning to Naomi’s homeland with nothing. They would have no protection and no way of providing for themselves. Basically, they were destitute. But God had a plan to provide for them and use them in his plan. Ruth didn’t know that! We get the luxury of hindsight when we read this story. But Ruth had to trust God, she had to step out in faith that God would meet them when they needed it most. God was setting the stage to bless them, bringing them home at the beginning of a time of blessing and abundance. How amazing is that?!
In what area of your life do you need to set your face like flint before the Lord and say essentially what Ruth promised to Naomi. “Your God will be my God.” In my own paraphrase I can hear her saying, “I don’t care what hardships come, I am sticking with you.” What area of your life needs that kind of faith?
Day 2: Ruth 2
Ruth was a courageous woman, for sure!
Verse 10-12 really jumped out at me. The fact that Ruth was a foreigner or a Moabite is mentioned seven times throughout the book of Ruth. As I mentioned yesterday, it was a huge deal that Ruth was a Moabitess. Back when the Israelites were coming out of Egypt, Moab tried to curse them.
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Check out Deuteronomy 23:
“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever, because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Technically, Ruth was not even allowed into Israel. (Not to mention, Elimelek and his family should never have even gone to Moab, but that’s a subject for another time.) Ruth could have let her label stop her from stepping out. Sometimes, we do the same. We allow labels or lies to attach to us and stop us from doing what God has called us to do.
Ruth had to step past her label and choose to take a risk of faith. She didn’t know how people would react to her. Is there a label or lie you need to step past today? Take a moment to pray and journal what the Lord speaks to you.
Day 3: Ruth 3
I love this section because it is such a beautiful picture of the kinsman redeemer and how Jesus is our Redeemer. The scripture that came to mind while I was reading this was Isaiah 43:1:
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
I get goosebumps every time I read that! You belong to Jesus. You are HIS! It’s so easy to forget that in the midst of being mom and wife, sometimes. Am I right? My mother-in-law said something to me about this will stick with me for the rest of my life. We were talking about how she had such a hard time when my hubby went off to college. She said that she had always stuck to the adage that “she was a mom first.” But when Colton left, God really started to speak to her that she was actually His daughter first.
Jesus wants us to be good moms and wives, but sometimes our identity can get so wrapped up in being those things for our family that we forget we are His first.
Have you ever felt like this? What do you feel God saying about this in your own life?
Day 4: Ruth 4:1-12
I just love this last section of our scripture for the day. The blessing that the elders proclaimed over Ruth is so interesting. Rachel and Leah had anything but easy lives, with Leah fighting for the affection of her husband and Rachel dealing with barrenness for so long. What was really interesting was that they brought Tamar into the mix. Her story is so gut wrenching, having to deal with not one, but two wicked husbands, being sent back to her father in disgrace, and then having to stoop to sleeping with her father-in-law in order to get pregnant. (You can read that story in Genesis 38.)
What’s the moral of the story? God uses imperfect people to bring about his plan. He loves using the most unlikely candidate, like a Moabite woman in a foreign land, to be counted in line that would eventually bring Jesus into the world.
Maybe you feel like God is asking you to do something that is outside your comfort zone or something that literally anyone else would be a better steward for. I get you!
He gave your children to YOU for a reason. He entrusted that ministry to YOU for a reason. How does this knowledge change your perspective?
Day 5: Ruth 4: 13-22
Because of Ruth’s obedience and faith, her son Obed is counted in the line of King David and Jesus. How cool is that? This woman, a Moabite, should never have even been in Israel, but now she is counted in the line of Jesus. Don’t underestimate what God is asking you to do. We don’t always get to see the fruit of what we plant. When you get to the end of a long day, thankful that the kids are finally asleep, know that your labor is not in vain. Never underestimate the power of a praying mama, a mama who shows up everyday even when you’d rather bury your head under the covers.
God sees, and He hears. He will continue the good work He started in you AND your kids.