Experience Hope Devotional

Committed to Love

Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
— Ruth 1:16

The book of Ruth is about a woman who committed herself to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Both women were grieving; both had lost their husbands. Ruth could have stayed in her homeland, possibly remarried and started over, but she pledged herself to Naomi.

Naomi was so overcome with grief in the loss of her husband and two sons that she changed her name from Naomi, which means pleasant, to Mara, which means bitterness. So by her own admission, she probably wasn’t a pleasant person to be around. Ruth, despite her own loss, chose to love and care for this bitter woman, who was at a crisis of faith and filled with anger.

Ruth may have seen something that made her believe in Naomi. There might have been something that caused her to make the decision to stay, even when Naomi tried to send her back to her family. Perhaps Ruth witnessed the strong faith that Naomi had had in her God, even if she was later angry with God.

In His faithfulness, God never left Naomi and eventually her faith and family were restored, and he used Ruth to do it. Because of Ruth’s commitment to love Naomi through her bitterness, God’s own Son, the Messiah, came through Ruth’s lineage.

You probably know people like Naomi, those who aren’t so easy to love. The world is filled with them. Has God placed someone like that in your life for a purpose?

Today’s One Thing

Look at your relationships today and ask God how you can demonstrate His unconditional love to someone dealing with anger and bitterness.