Once in the time of judges there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah departed with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. The man was named Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. Some time after their arrival on the Moabite plateau, Elimelech, the husband of Naomi died and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons, nor her husband. She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. She and her two daughters-in-law left the place where they had been living. (Ruth 1: 1-7, NAB)
Naomi’s husband and two sons had died, leaving her alone in a foreign land with a different religion. Her two sons had married Moabite women who were also left widowed. Naomi could have wallowed in her depression and become frozen by her dire circumstances. However, she chose a different path and God rewarded her for her sacrifice.
I know what it is like to be in the darkness of depression and not know how to find my way out. Naomi grasped onto the only light she could find and that was God and Ruth. God provided me with a family and a new career dedicated to Him as my light. He will do the same for anyone who loves Him and looks to Him for love and help.
Naomi sacrificed herself for the needs of Ruth. She did it out of love not some fake sense of duty or guilt. God approves of and rewards this type of sacrifice and so it was until the end of Naomi’s life.
Through Naomi, Ruth saw and we are able to see, peace, character and loving kindness. As Ruth did, we can emulate these characteristics and achieve these things for ourselves.
Dear Jesus, help me to see beyond my mind freezing emotions, into the needs of others. Help me to move beyond my selfish needs to help those really in need. Let me be an example of you to the world. Amen.
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