The Presence of God. Ruth and Naomi found themselves in very trying circumstances after each suffered the loss of a husband and the inescapable grief that accompanies death. Scripture gives us a snapshot into their lives and we get a glimpse of the strong bond of friendship that took place between Ruth and Naomi. Was it the deep sense of grief that brought these two women together in a way they had never experienced before? Perhaps these women were drawn to each other because they knew they were “alone” in the world. More importantly, the presence of God is evident by Ruth's response to her mother-in-law. Ruth reminds us and reminded Naomi of God's presence.
Mutual Commitment. Naomi urged Ruth to go home to her mother in Moab hoping that Ruth would find another husband. Ruth refused to leave Naomi; she was committed to Naomi and committed to serving Naomi's God. It did not matter that her sister-in-law, Orpah, chose to go back to her people and her gods; Ruth was fully committed to remain with Naomi. In response to Ruth's commitment, Naomi ceased urging Ruth to return to her homeland and committed to having Ruth as her friend and traveling companion.
Mutual commitment to God and each other is the tie that strengthens the bond between brothers and sisters in Christ.
Humility of Mind. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) Although Naomi and Ruth were both suffering, each considered the needs of the other more important than her own. Naomi desired to give Ruth the best possibility of a husband; Ruth desired much more to care and keep company for her mother-in-law who was not only dealing with grief but struggling with bitterness. In the midst of suffering, sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to think of our brother's or sister's need as more important than our own.
Humility of mind before God shelters us from the sin of selfishness with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
May we be wholly devoted to God and find common ground with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ!