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Ripple Effect Reading | Week 4 | Day 5



Prayer


As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Thank Jesus that he came to save you!

Bible Reading: Ruth 1:1-18


In today’s verses we read from the beginning of the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Ruth is a gentile (non-Jew) who married a Jewish man, a son of Naomi (who we will meet in a minute). Tragedy strikes this family, but in the midst of this, Ruth shows an incredible act of service. Read these verses three times slowly.

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

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.

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.”

Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Reflection & Questions


We finish our Ripple Effect reading plan with the story of Ruth. We’ve seen this week that serving oftentimes requires us to step out of our comfort zone. In today’s story, Ruth doesn’t just step out of her comfort zone, she literally puts her opportunity for a ‘good future’ on the line for the sake of her mother-in-law.

When Noami’s husband and sons die, Noami is left without anyone to take care of her. In an economy where the men would bring in the income, Noami was destitute. She had no option but to go back to her home land in the hopes of some kindness from her people. Nothing was guaranteed though. She may well die.

Noami doesn’t want this for her daughters-in-law. They still have the chance of beginning a new life. She tells them, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?”

Orpah goes home, but Ruth isn’t having any of it. She couldn’t stand the idea of abandoning Naomi. In fact, right here, she declares one of the most amazing examples of commitment in the Bible: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” Ruth put her future aside for the sake of Naomi. As a foreigner there wouldn’t be a husband in Israel for her. And as a widow, she would live a poor existence. But that didn’t matter. She loved Naomi and set her future aside for the sake of her. It’s an amazing act of service.

      1. What encourages you from these verses today?
      2. Who or where is the Lord calling you to serve, but it will take you out of your comfort zone? Talk to the Lord about that today.

Prayer


Talk to God in response to the reading today.

Worship Song


You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:


Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.

Questions?

Ed Applegate

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  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 4: Psalm 42 Week 3: Psalm 8 Week 2: Psalm 15 Week 1: Psalm 1 Driven (Father’s Day – One-Off) Week 4: Serving Shockwaves Week 3: The Serving Effect Week 2: No Strings Attached Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon

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