Old Testament

Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures

After the death of her husband and two sons in the land of Moab, Naomi believed that God had turned against her. She decided to leave Moab and return to Bethlehem in Judah. Naomi and her daughter in-law, Ruth, arrived safely in Bethlehem.

When they arrived, the whole town became excited, and the women there exclaimed, “Is this really Naomi?”

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she answered; “call me Marah, because Almighty God has made my life bitter. When I left here, I had plenty, but the LORD has brought me back without a thing. Why call me Naomi when the LORD Almighty has condemned me and sent me trouble?”
Ruth 1.19b-21

God will plead for us as a friend. In his suffering, Job pleaded with God to help.

My friends scorn me;
my eyes pour out tears to God.
I want someone to plead with God for me,
as one pleads for a friend.
Job 16.20,21

God will guide us and direct us.

Answer me now, LORD!
I have lost all hope.
Don’t hide yourself from me,
or I will be among those who go
down to the world of the dead.

Remind me each morning of your constant love,
for I put my trust in you.
My prayers go up to you;
show me the way I should go.

I go to you for protection, LORD;
rescue me from my enemies.
You are my God; teach me to do your will.
Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.
Psalm 143.7-10

God is always near to us. The LORD says,

“I am the high and holy God, who lives forever.
I live in a high and holy place,
but I also live with people who are humble and repentant,
so that I can restore their confidence and hope.”

Isaiah 57.15

God responds to our tears of sadness.

My eyes flow with rivers of tears
at the destruction of my people.
“My tears will pour out
in a ceaseless stream
Until the LORD looks down
from heaven and sees us.
Lamentations 3.48-50

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