Message of Hope: God is still God during the good times and the bad times.
Read and S.O.A.P
Today’s story is going to tackle some very difficult questions – questions that maybe people have not wrestled with yet. But that is about to change. So let’s dig in and tackle some difficult questions in the next couple of days.
Read Ruth 1:6-13.
Which verse(s) stands out to you? S.O.A.P it. If you are comfortable. Share all of, or part of your S.O.A.P. in the comments below this post.
Excerpts and questions used in this study are used by permission from
S – “…this is a bitter pill for me to swallow – more bitter for me than for you. God has dealt me a hard blow.\” Ruth 1:13b (from The Message)O- In Ruth 1:6-13 Naomi has great compassion on her daughters-in-law. She urges them to go home and stay with their mothers where they will have a better chance of remarrying and having a husband to provide for them and the chance of bearing children. In those times, this was pretty much essential for survival for women. Although she is compassionate towards her daughters-in-law-not insisting that they stay and take care of her- she seems quite angry and hurt that God has dealt her this difficult lot in life – being left with no husband and no children to take care of her.A – Even in truly difficult times, it is important to think of the wellbeing of others and not just ourselves. It is clear that Naomi was sad and perhaps even bitter and angry, but it seems that this was between her and God. She didn’t lash out against her daughter’s-in-law and insist that they take care of her. She thought first of their welfare. How often, when I am going through a difficult time, my family gets the brunt of it. They endure my sour mood and in the end we are all miserable. Naomi is showing me that even through difficult times we need to have compassion towards those around us and take up our burden with the Lord. Often times when I am carrying a burden and I take it to the Lord, I find that it is really something within me that needs to change. Perhaps an inward battle I have been fighting for a while, or a stronghold in my life that God is trying to help me overcome and yield to him.P- Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your patience with me when I lack the compassion that Naomi showed her daughters-in-law. Thank you for your Victory in my life. Your daily work on my heart. The stronghold of fear that took hold of my life years ago—You have victory over that. You have brought people into my life, teaching me that walking in fear is not of You-that it is one of satan's clever strongholds. You help me to walk in Joy and in Peace. No, it’s not always easy, because satan will not give up, but You always have your magnificent ways of reminding me that I have conquered this stronghold and can walk in Your amazing Victory. Thank you Lord, for being there for me. Always. In the good times and in the bad times. Walk with me today as I practice Naomi’s compassion. In Your holy name, Amen.
Some parts of the verses that call my attention are: V6: \”The Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing…\” This is my experience in these difficult times. The Lord has been providing for me! Also v 8: \”May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me\” Thinking about how important it is what we give to others, because that's what we'll receive back. And v9: \”May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest\” We, as women, need so much to \”rest\” of the many unseen and unappreciated work we do. The Lord is our place of rest!. V 9 also says that \”they wept aloud\”! That is such a \”girlie\” thing to do, at least for me!! I weep aloud with my friends and of course, before the Lord!!! Through all these circumstances, I know that God is with us always, and even when we can't see Him sometimes, it doesn't mean that He is not. I praise you Father for your love, kindness and gentleness!!! God bless you, girls!!Rosy
S – ONE – v 6 & 7 – When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.TWO – v 8 & 9 – Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”O – I am in awe of Naomi for two reasons in these passages. ONE – I see Naomi as a brave, confident and strong woman as she courageously left all that was currently familiar to her and moved to another land in order to provide for the needs of her and her “in-law” family. TWO – She put aside her own needs and considered the needs of her daughter-in-laws above her own. It would most likely have been a great comfort and support for her to keep her daughter-in-laws with her but she put her own needs aside and encouraged them to do what would be best for them. A – Naomi is a great example to us as women. Even though she must have been consumed with grief, she considers and then does what is best for herself and her “in-law” family as they encounter a famine. In doing so, I feel she models the following characteristics for us (among others) – bravery, confidence, strength, courageousness, selflessness and consideration of others. She demonstrates how to have a genuine love for others, her “in-law” daughters. She encourages us to trust and obey God.P – Father in Heaven, thank you for the story of Naomi in the book of Ruth. May we follow her example as we mature into brave, confident, strong, courageous, selfless and considerate women. May we trust and obey you as you lead us through the difficult times in our lives. AmenCathy
Thank you, Rosy, for pointing out these verses in detail. They each rang true for me too.
Cathy, your prayer is mine too. Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing.