You can’t talk about the relationship between Ruth and Naomi without talking about honor. To honor someone is to grant a person a position of respect and authority and to value someone highly.
I believe one of the reasons why some of us haven’t seen God do what He promised is because we refuse to honor and respect the people who He has placed in our lives to guide us, to train us and to help us. Seven months ago, God toId me something regarding my pastors that I will never forget: They are not perfect, but they can help get you to where you need to be.
When Ruth honored Naomi, she honored God. We sometimes don’t see it this way, but when Naomi gave Ruth instructions, it was God giving Ruth instructions. It’s interesting how some of us go to church Sunday after Sunday and yet still struggle to believe what the man or woman of God said, but Ruth believed what Naomi said. The moment she obeyed, God blessed her.
You will only obey what you honor.
One of the reasons why we are so quick to leave a thing or a person is because we were never really committed to begin with. When things got tough, Ruth stuck it out with Naomi. Where you go, I go. Your people will be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:14, 16). She had the option to leave, but she chose to stay. When we get our feelings hurt, when someone offends us or when things aren’t going the way we planned, some of us leave (Orpah). We leave the church. We leave good friendships. We walk away from the very thing that God is trying to give to us.
We don’t know all the details, but Ruth went through some things. She lost a husband. She faced a famine. She had to go out and work – something she didn’t have to do prior to her husband’s death. But despite the difficulties she faced, she remained faithful.
Naomi and Ruth were two different women from different backgrounds. They had different beliefs. They didn’t serve the same God. One was much older than the other, but despite the differences, Ruth took very good care of who God had placed in her life. And Naomi wasn’t even her biological mother. She was her mother-in-law, but because Ruth took care of Naomi, God had to take care of her.
Ruth’s life would have never become as great as it did had she not honored who God had placed in her life. And I’m not just talking about the fact that she got another husband or a child out of this situation, but look at how God used Ruth to get Jesus here to us. And Boaz begat Obed of Ruth…and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born, who is called Christ (Matthew 1:5, 16).
Let us learn to honor others. You don’t know what it is that God is trying to birth out of you. God knows what you need (as well as the generation after you) and He knows how to get it to you, but sometimes it will come through people that you didn’t expect it to come through or through people who don’t always say what you want to hear.
But before you get upset or offended, remember it is God’s message. They are just the messenger.
Give respect to those you should respect and honor those you should honor (Romans 13:7, CEB).