Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

DAY 3 OF 5

Day 3: Naomi and Ruth 

As God used Moses to raise up Joshua as a future leader of His people, so God used Naomi to come alongside her daughter-in-law Ruth at a very fragile and vulnerable time in her life.   

We read about their story in the four chapters of the book of Ruth. It took place at the time of the Judges after the Hebrews settled in the promised land but before they crowned their first king. A famine in the land led a man named Elimelek, his wife, Naomi, and their two sons to move from Bethlehem to Moab.

Not long after the move, tragedy struck as Elimelek passed away. Naomi’s two sons went on to marry Moabite women, and tragedy struck again when the two sons died. One wife remained in Moab, while the other, Ruth, followed her mother-in-law back to Bethlehem. 

Ruth, a stranger in Judah, the land of her husband, stayed close to Naomi, who became a mentor to her. When you think about it, the two couldn’t have been more different. One was old, and the other was young. They came from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. 

Yet in reading their story, we find a healthy interdependence. We also witness Ruth enter into a covenant relationship with Naomi, which included Ruth’s heartfelt commitment: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

As the story unfolds, Naomi walks alongside Ruth as Ruth meets and enters a growing relationship with a man named Boaz. Her mentorship would lead to Ruth and Boaz’s marriage. Ruth would become the great-grandmother of King David, and thus an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah!

Their story reminds us that intergenerational, life-to-life relationships have mutual benefits. We truly do need each other! Life-to-Life discipling is just that, each one sharing his or her life with the other—“doing life together.” As we see in the case of Naomi and Ruth, such relationships might even surface right in our own families! 

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Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

Do you long to “make disciples who make disciples,” to follow Jesus’ mandate in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? If so, you may have found that it can be difficult to find role models for this process. Whose exam...

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