Monday, June 17, 2013

A Key to Success and Rewards

"When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her."  Ruth 1:18, NIV'84

There must have been something about Ruth's reply that caused Naomi to pause. It might have simply been her words. They've been quoted fairly often down through history. 

Some of you may even be wondering why I started this post with verse 18 instead of the more familiar 16 and 17. The answer is simple. It was Naomi's reaction to Ruth's plea that caught my attention.

I'm thinking there was something beyond the words that made Naomi stop pushing Ruth to return to Moab. Naomi's argument was solid and practical. Surely she could have gone on to elaborate it. So why did she stop?

The word that caught my attention is determined. Apparently Naomi yielded her position when she realized that Ruth was committed whole heartedly to accompany her on the trip to  Bethlehem. I can only imagine what Ruth's tone of voice or facial expression, eye contact or body language must have been to convince Naomi of her resolve.

Whatever it was that expressed Ruth's allegiance to Naomi, it ended the discussion. The next verse tells us the two women went on from there together.

And I wonder how determined I am in my allegiance to Christ. Would my words convince anyone else of my intention to follow Him with all my heart and soul and mind? Would my countenance communicate my desire to bring Him glory in all circumstances?

What would happen if I concentrated on developing this key element in my life? 

For Ruth, being determined in her purpose to have God as her LORD took her from obscurity to security and into the very lineage of His beloved Son. The prayer Boaz raised over her became a reality.

"May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."  Ruth 2:12 

As I put one foot in front of the other, I want to be worthy of whatever the Father has planned for me. How about you?

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