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Death had destroyed Naomi’s family. Her husband and both of her adult sons had died, leaving her a lonely stranger in a foreign land. The only things left of her once happy life were her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Resigned
to go back to her homeland to poverty and eventually death, Naomi told
her daughters-in-law to return to their families and start a new life
with new husbands. They cried, not wanting to leave her. Naomi insisted, and so Orpah left for her family’s house. But Ruth clung to Naomi and refused to leave her. She makes the most infamous vow in all scripture to Naomi:
Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go: where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die- there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!
Naomi believed that her life had become useless without her family. Ruth would not only be her companion, but her new purpose for living. No matter how old we become, or how infirm, we are still able to be in service to the Lord. Naomi became a new mother to Ruth, guiding her and ensuring that she survive, too. Through
Naomi, Ruth would find her new husband, Boaz, ensuring that both Ruth
and Naomi would be cared for until they passed away. Naomi became a mentor to Ruth. We are never too old to be compassionate and caring to another. Are you willing to let God use you to be a companion to another?
You have known us from even before the day of our birth.
You have searched us,
And, despite our sinfulness, love us.
There is nothing we can offer worthy of the blessings you have given to us.
Yet we desire to serve you.
Help us to know how we can be of service to you.
Let our lives, in whatever state they may be,
Be a means of conveying your love and grace to others.
May we bless others, as we have been blessed.
Let us be a Naomi to others.
May our lives be a testimony of your goodness.
You alone deserve our praise.