READ : Ruth 1:8-9
May the Lord deal kindly with you. (v. 8)
Many people say “God bless you!”—for example, when you sneeze—without knowing the God they are talking about. What does Naomi mean when she says, in effect, “God bless you” to her daughters-in-law?
She does not, in fact, use the word “God,” and certainly not the name of the terrible
pagan god Chemosh, which the girls had been brought up to believe in. Naomi still believes
in “the Lord,” the God of Israel, the God of the Bible.
Nor does she just say “The Lord bless you.” She says, “May the Lord deal kindly with
you.” Kindness means the special combination of love and loyalty which binds the God of
Israel to his people forever.
She also knows that he will bless even these Moabite girls, even in their Moabite
homes. The Lord is the God of Israel, but he is not confined to Israel.
For ten years in a heathen land this faith has kept Naomi going and has even come to
mean something to her heathen daughters-in-law.
A faith that will flourish like this in the bad times is one that has been worked at in the good times. You cultivate your friendship with the Lord now, and he will stand by you then.
Lord, help us to take every chance to know you better today. Amen.