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July 8

Ruth 1, 6-10

Something to read

Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had had consideration for his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah.

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, `Go back each of you to your mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.' Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, `No, we will return with you to your people.'
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

For three years the Ethiopian farmer had lost his crops and cattle through drought and locust. Yet in front of camera he said, ‘God is good, he has given us wild berries to eat.’

Similarly, the Lord was not blamed earlier for the famine in Judah (v1), but here in verse 6 it is said that the Lord has once again ‘given them (Judah) food.’

When this news broke Naomi ‘started to return’ to Bethlehem (v6), at least there she will be among friends and relatives. Eight times the word or idea of ‘return’ occurs in the rest of this chapter, in fact it is the same Hebrew word translated differently according to its context. There is no doubt about this chapter’s focus.

Why didn’t they rage against God because of the famine? Is it that they accept what the Lord gives them, however meagre it may be? Is this acceptance of God’s sovereignty?

Something to do

List those moments that you have felt deserted or let down by God. Trace the roots and reasoning behind those thoughts. Was your reasoning reasonable?

Something to pray

Based on God’s conversation with Job (38:1-20)

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?
Blessed are you Lord God, King of the Universe!

Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place?
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Blessed are you Lord God, King of the Universe!

Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Blessed are you Lord God, King of the Universe!

Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Blessed are you Lord God, King of the Universe who created all things!

Today's contributor is the Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister


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