The Journey is a daily devotional published by the Bible Reading Fellowship in Winter Park, Florida. I have enjoyed reading their daily devotionals for several years and recommend them to you. And that was even before they invited me to contribute to their publication!
In their current issue they are setting aside two months in order to do a “Bible book review.” Every day is taken from a different book of the Bible. I was invited to write about Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel and I and II Kings. This week I will post my daily contributions but be sure to subscribe to The Journey yourself (or recommend it to your church) as a regular devotional resource.
Read: Ruth 1 and 4:12-22
The story of Ruth echoes that of Job. We see the innocent suffer but maintain their trust in God who ultimately rewards them and restores them. These stories illustrate God’s long-range plans to use us as channels of blessing that go far beyond our expectations.
Naomi followed her husband to the foreign land of Moab when famine struck in Israel. Her two sons find wives there. But soon Naomi’s husband and both her sons die. Three destitute widows face a bleak future.
In his crisis, Job’s wife told him to give up. In a similar way, Naomi urges her sons’ widows to stay with their own people as she prepares to return to Israel. Ruth refuses. “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back…” (1:16) In the face of tragedy, Ruth remains committed to Naomi. Hebrews says of the faithful saints, “If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one.” (11:15-16) By her faithful decision, Ruth demonstrated why God was pleased to take her into the family line of King David and of Jesus Christ.