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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’” - Ruth 4:14-15

As a new year begins, I find myself reflecting on all that the past year has held.  There is much to be grateful for, yet my mind quickly jumps to the many people, places and situations that need to be redeemed.  From Ebola, ISIS, Malaysian plane crashes, and rising racial divides within America, to family and friends impacted by broken marriages, addictions, and terminal illnesses, to recurrent sin in my own life, I find myself empathizing with the words of Naomi in the book of Ruth.  Naomi says to the people in Bethlehem, upon her return home, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20).  Mara means “bitter,” and Naomi claimed this name as an expression of grief after the deaths of her husband and two sons.  But in the midst of Naomi’s suffering there were numerous evidences that the Lord had not left her.   

Despite the hard things the Lord had allowed in Naomi’s life, He was still with her.  The love and faithfulness of Ruth, the kindness and generosity of Boaz, and the friendship of other women in the neighborhood are some of the evidences that God had not forgotten Naomi.  And we, who are the Lord’s, can be assured, despite how things may appear, that He has not forgotten us either.  Our story, like Naomi’s, will end in victory, for our kinsman-redeemer is Jesus Christ, the “restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age” (Ruth 4:14)!  Let us worship Him for His steadfast love and faithfulness to us, even in the midst of trouble, because we know how it will ultimately end.

Lisa Jeffrey
Ministry Fellow at Princeton
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