Archive for September 5th, 2006

Did you hear the one about the mother-in-law…

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Today’s scripture: Ruth 1:11-18 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Morgan Stewart):

Like lawyers, our culture has long poked fun at mothers-in-law through a barrage of jokes. As a once-married bride, here are a couple of my favorite one-liners:

  • One cannibal says to the other: “I can’t stand my mother-in-law.” The other says: “Why don’t you just eat the vegetables?”
  • Did you know that Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple in the world?  Why?  Because neither of them had a mother-in-law!

Today’s scripture is about a very different kind of mother-in-law named Naomi, who is one of the wisest in-laws in the Bible. We often hear this scripture text at weddings, as it expresses the deep commitment that one spouse should have for another. What an impression Naomi must have made on Ruth!

Naomi and Ruth became close through the trial of both being newly widowed. Naomi, hearing that there’s food in Bethlehem, sets out to leave the land of Moab. Ruth and Orpah, her two daughters-in-law accompany her.

Later, Naomi releases Ruth, urging her to go back saying in essence, “My dear ones, You don’t have to go with me. I know that you have your parents, your family and your native land. These are all dear to you. Feel free to return to them.”

Yet amazingly, Ruth persisted and makes a very loyal decision to go with her mother-in-law. Her words of deep commitment live on today:

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”

Ruth and Naomi settled in Bethlehem. They continued to treat each other with dignity and respect — two traits that can solve most family problems.

Thought for the day: I can honor God through treating others with dignity and respect.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: the Sunday Oasis, which begins a new book study this week.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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