Dictionary.com defines a Friend as:
1.a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2.a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter:
3.a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile:
The Book of Ruth gives us a beautiful picture of a friend. Naomi, a Jew from Bethlehem, was in Moab because there was a famine in Bethlehem. Her husband and two sons died. She was left with the wives of her two sons, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi instructed the girls to return to their families in Moab. Orpah returned. Ruth refused to leave Naomi. She clung to Naomi.
Ruth 1:16-17 says, “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” That is a true friend.
It cost Ruth to make this declaration. It cost her, her home, her family, her friends, her religion, her country, and anything else she held dear. Over ten years she had watched Naomi, her husband, her sons, and what it meant to be a Jew. It made sense to her and she embraced it. She gave up everything to be friend to Naomi.
They returned together to Bethlehem. Then Ruth began to demonstrate her love and concern for Naomi.
Ruth 2:2-3 says, “And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.” (Elimelech was Naomi’s husband)
Do we possess this kind of friendship with anyone? Ruth made a powerful statement when she was willing to give up everything for Naomi.
This should be the relationship we have with Jesus. We owe Him everything. Had He not died on the cross for us, shed His blood for our sin, was buried, and the third day rose again, we would be lost and headed for hell.
We should be clinging to Jesus and serving Him with all that we have.
Is Jesus really our best friend? Are we willing to live for Him daily, humbly, prayerfully, with adoration and praise? We should be.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001