“Then Naomi, her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, should I not seek rest for you that it may be well with you?'”
I wish I had time to dive into all the intricacies of what’s happening here in Ruth chapter three and how that leads into Ruth chapter four. But the reason I want to read this verse and lead us to pray according to it is because Naomi and Ruth are in search of a redeemer for them, and Boaz in this story is that redeemer. What I love about the language here in verse one, though, is when Naomi says to Ruth, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you that it may be well with you,” and the picture is rest is only possible in the arms of a Redeemer. And it’s that picture that I want to lead us to pray according to because the whole book of Ruth is this story about Naomi and Ruth and Boaz that’s a part of a much bigger picture that paints a portrait of God as our Redeemer, the Lord, as the one who redeems us, Jesus, ultimately as our Redeemer.
The whole Christian life is a life of rest in Jesus even as we look forward to ultimate eternal rest in Him and a new heaven and a new earth.
Ruth 3:1 is a reminder that rest is only and ultimately possible in the arms of a Redeemer, namely in the arms of Jesus. And for all who trust in Jesus, His rest is yours. I wish we had time to even tease out that theme all throughout the Bible how we are saved from our sins by God’s grace, not by our works. So, we have a rest from work, from working to try to obey God in order to earn His favor? No, we obey God from a position of rest. And even in that, we rest in His spirit inside of us, His power working in and through us. The whole Christian life is a life of rest in Jesus even as we look forward to ultimate eternal rest in Him and a new heaven and a new earth.
So, we pray, Lord Jesus, thank you for the rest you have made possible for us, for our lives, for our souls, for our bodies, for us in you. God, we live in a world where we are constantly running from one thing to the next and tempted to worry about this or that, tempted to be anxious about these things or those things. But God, we see in your word commands like “Don’t worry about anything.” Jesus, you telling your disciples, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. I have you in my hands.” “Don’t be anxious about anything,” you say to us in Philippians four, “but in everything by prayer and petition, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
So God, I just pray over every single person listening right now that they would know your rest, that they would know your peace. That you would free them from worry, and you’d free them from anxiety. You’d free them from attempts to earn your favor that they would rest in your grace. They would rest in your love for them. That they would rest in your power at work in them, that they would rest in the reality that you hold their lives in their hands, and you hold all things in your hands, and you are leading and guiding them. That they would rest in your promise that you’re working all things together for the good of those who love you for their good, for our good. God, in all these ways, teach us to rest in you as our Redeemer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. In the name of the one who makes this rest now and forever possible, in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer, we pray. Amen.