“I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.” Ruth 1:21-22 ESV
*Chapter 2 not included; please read on your own*
Naomi, whose name means “pleasant,” told the women to call her Mara, which means “bitter.” While Naomi sulked in her bitterness, Ruth took the initiative to go work in the field. Naomi did not tell Ruth that they had a relative who was a landowner. No, Naomi sulked and allowed Ruth to risk being assaulted on a strangers land. Ruth was completely aware of the risk that she was taking as a foreign woman in a new land. However, she understood the gravity of their situation—they could die—and set out to work. This understanding influenced Ruth’s work ethic, causing her to work from early morning until the evening, only taking a short break. This work ethic is was caused the landowner—Boaz—to take notice of her. This work ethic is what caused Boaz to favor her. Ruth received his favor in humility, she did not say that she deserved it, nor did she brag about it to the others in the field or to Naomi. Because of her humility, Boaz made her work a bit easier; he did not eliminate her work, but made one step of the process easier. Despite this new ease, Ruth worked with the same diligence. Ruth had an unwavering work ethic. Upon seeing all that Ruth had reaped, Naomi knew that Ruth had earned the favor of someone. Upon finding out that the “someone” was a close relative of theirs, Naomi knew that in addition to favor, Ruth had received protection. Ruth worked consistently for two harvest seasons.
Reflection: has your attitude towards service gone from pleasant to bitter? Do you feel as if when you started serving you were full, and now you’re empty? Has your bitter attitude kept you from from doing the work of the Lord? Has your bitter attitude made you satisfied with receiving the fruit from the labor of others? Has your bitterness left you satisfied from reaping certain benefits simply because you are in close proximity to a favored person?
Bitterness has no place in ministry/life; it will keep you from having a first-hand experience of God’s favor.
“”Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 ESV
Prayer: Pray that God will remove the seeds of bitterness from your heart. May we not be satisfied with receiving the fruit of another’s labor. May we feel invested in the work of the Kingdom. Father, help us to work like Ruth, with understanding of the gravity of the situation—souls are at risk. Lord, help us to work hard, with consistency and humility. May our work ethic be unwavering.
Have a great day! 💖💖💖