Lesson One • Rooted
Devotion #6: Sacrifice and Serving
“Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
Most Sunday evenings you will find our family having dinner together. After dinner, it is the grandkids’ responsibility to clear the table and take care of the dishes. I love listening to them work together and helping them when they need it. Their reward is definitely worth their work! As soon as they get everything cleaned up from dinner, they get to help serve dessert. Homemade apple pie and ice cream are among our family favorites. Helping in my grandma’s kitchen with my cousins are some of my favorite childhood memories. Hopefully, one day my grandkids will look back and have fond memories of being in my kitchen laughing and serving our family together.
It is very possible that Ruth was not much older than my teenage grandchildren when she married Naomi’s son. Sadly, both women lost their husbands to death within the next few years. Life for a widow was very difficult. After hearing that the Lord had blessed His people with good crops, Naomi decided to return to her home in Bethlehem. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and go back to their families, but Ruth had come to love Naomi and the God she served and she was determined not to leave Naomi. Wherever Naomi was going, Ruth was going too.
Ruth 1:22-2:2 says, “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. Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.’ And she said to her, ‘Go, my daughter.’”
As we see in Scripture, Ruth offered to go and glean the fields when they arrived in Bethlehem. Collecting leftover crops from farmer’s fields was put into place by God as a way for foreigners or the poor to work and provide for themselves. Ruth did not wait for her mother-in-law to figure out how the two widows would survive; she offered to go and work so they would have food.
Ruth humbled herself and did what was needed to take care of them. Her sacrifice to serve and to find a way to provide for herself and her mother-in-law would lead to a life only God knew was planned. Through marriage to Boaz, the owner of the fields, God would work out His perfect plan for Ruth, a humble Moabite woman, to one day become the great-grandmother of King David.
Whatever God calls us to do, it will always involve sacrifice and serving. In sacrifice and serving, we find our place in God’s plan.