Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother- in- law, but Ruth clung to her. Glance back over Ruth 1:1-13.
Why were they crying?
The implication is that Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye, but Ruth, in contrast clung to her. What would you have done:
“ But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘ Son, go, work today in my vineyard. ’ He answered and said, ‘I will not, ’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘ I go, sir, ’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Your answer:
Do you see a parallel between this parable and the choices of Orpah and Ruth? Why/ why not?
Do you have a decision to make or a relationship to evaluate?
Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight….” And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then he said to Him, “ If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. Continue/ personalize Abraham’s prayer in your own words:
For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psalms 36:9) Where do you need His light to shine today:
And she said, “ Look, your sister- in- law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister- in- law.”
Between verses 14 and 15, Orpah must have left the two. She returned to her ______________ and to her ___________, What do you remember about her people, the Moabites:
Who do you think her gods are:
Why would Naomi of Bethlehem (“house of bread”), Judah (“praise”) suggest that Ruth follow Orpah?
A Hebrew, Naomi’s oft-quoted heritage was Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“ Hear, O Israel:The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Yet, her reality was also that “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”(Judges 21:25) Israel had dethroned their God. Which do you think influenced Naomi more?
Do you in struggle with the tension between a godless culture and the call of God, as described in Deuteronomy 6:4-5?
Which voice is stronger,?
Even if the whole world attempted to dethrone Him, it would not change His divine majesty. Meditate on this and choose one phrase to memorize today. Deuteronomy 33:26-29
“ There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds.
The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘ Destroy! ’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, The fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty!
Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places.”
Read the last Scriptures from yesterday again, aloud if circumstances allow. Then respond to Him:
But Ruth said:
“ Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” This is the most famous passage of Ruth. Why is it so compelling?
What emotions does it stir in you? Tell Him about it:
Ruth’s name means “friendship” and many women long for such a friend. Do you think this passage says more about Ruth or Naomi, to whom this loyalty was pledged?
What qualities do you think Ruth the Moabite saw in Naomi of Bethlehem?
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
This Proverb teaches two principles on friendship.
The friend who sticks closer than a brother, even than a husband or child, is He who never breaks His promises: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Where do you need His kindness, peace, or mercy today?
To whom is He asking you to extend His kindness, peace, or mercy today?
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) and “These things I command you, that you love one another.” How will you respond:
To whom did you show kindness yesterday?
Whether you had failure or victory, today is new.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Tell Him all about it:
After Ruth’s declaration of unwavering loyalty (Ruth 1:16-17), Naomi responded: “When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.” (Ruth 1:18)
In this quiet, perhaps understated verse, which emotions do you think pulsed through Naomi?
The word for determined also means “to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage):— confirm, be courageous (of good courage, stedfastly minded, strong, stronger), establish, fortify, harden, increase, prevail, strengthen (self), make strong (obstinate, speed).” Which of these meanings would you most like to describe you?
In what situation do you need this quality? Ask Him, and He will build it into your character, as you obey step by step:
This is the Hebrew Word continually given to Joshua, as he was preparing to step into Moses’s sandals and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” This is a command, not an emotion. Speak this into your own soul:
Then Joshua said to them, “ Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”
As Joshua passed on this Word to his people, so speak this in prayer over anyone He brings to your attention.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Your response:
Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “ Is this Naomi?” Why do you think Bethlehem is mentioned twice?
Naomi had been gone at least ten years. Ruth was of enemy-descent. How do you think they each anticipated entering the “House of Bread”? Naomi:
How did the city receive them:
Have you ever returned home after a long absence?
Have you ever been afraid you weren’t welcome somewhere?
Have you ever received someone back, whom you thought were lost to you?
In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables, all about finding something or someone lost. A man lost a sheep, a woman lost a valuable coin, and a father lost a son. Each story ends with celebration. No matter the circumstances, no matter the apparent value of what was lost, always only welcome. Luke 15:7
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety- nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:10
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:31-32
“ And he said to him, ‘ Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. ’” How is this relevant to you today?
How will you respond to Him: