“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. 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 even death separates you and me.”
When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.” Ruth 1: 16-18
Ruth had experienced some very low lows with Naomi. Naomi had lost her husband and her two sons, one of the sons was Ruth’s husband. Naomi felt that hanging around would not help Ruth, so she encouraged her daughter-in-law- to move on and start over a new life. Ruth’s decision to say may not have been an easy one: although she was a widow, she still had life ahead of her, but she responded with the words above. Staying with Naomi led to Ruth’s meeting with Boaz, who provided an opportunity for her to start over and have a better life. (Ruth 2:5-23)
Like Ruth, situations confront us on a daily basis. The right decision in the right moment can be the difference between poverty and prosperity.
“The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daniel 6: 7-10
Daniel chose not to take on ‘City Hall’, but to pray to the only One who could bring his deliverance. Like Nehemiah and Hannah, he recognized that help could come, but He needed to pray. Later we see how Daniel’s decision cost him a night in the den of lions, but God kept him safe. Daniel’s position on the matter resulted in change. Having seen how God delivered, the King later “wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth”. In this letter he declared: “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.” (Daniel 6:25-28)
Daniel did not need to make a case for praying to his God. He simply prayed, and God responded.
And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.
But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. Genesis 39:7-12 NKJV
Joseph had led an interesting life. He had moved from the position of the favorite child to the child despised and tossed in a pit, and then moving on to experience favour in Potiphar’s house. Unfortunately for him, his master’s wife had plans to lead him into sin. When confronted, Joseph did not stand his ground or fall to His knees in prayer. He chose to run! Running gave him an opportunity to avoid sinning, but it landed him in prison. Despite losing his freedom, Joseph chose to trust God, and later experienced deliverance and was restored to a higher place. (Genesis 41)
Running may give us immediate relief from those with evil intentions, but this does not mean the end is ‘around the corner’. Sometimes running from one experience presents more opportunities for us to trust God’s hand.
Just like Ruth, Daniel and Joseph, we are faced with situations on a daily basis. How we respond has much to do with how well we come out on the other side.
Personal application. If I trust myself to chart my destiny, my ship will run aground. I may run when I should pray, or stay when I should run. I am making the decision to trust God to lead me in the right direction.
Father, we are thankful that You are in the midst of every situation we face. We are grateful that we have no need to hunt solutions, because You have already seen the answer for every situation we will ever face! We want to do the right thing in the moment. Please help us to determine the right moments in which we need to stay, pray, or run.
We know that if we trust You, it will all work out in the end. Sometimes the end seems long in coming, but we are grateful for Your protection and Your covering. We are thankful that You never leave us to figure life out on our own, and that we can trust that You have our best interest at heart, even when we can’t see what lies ahead.
1. Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2. “Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved
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