Ruth and Esther: Wise Living Far from Home

By Steven Koster

December 30, 2016

Our January theme for the Today devotions, written by Rev. Arie Leder, is “Ruth and Esther: Wise Living Far from Home.”

Have you ever lived in a foreign country where you didn’t know the language and the customs were different from those with which you were familiar?

I’ve never lived abroad, and on the occasions I have traveled internationally, almost always I’ve been privileged to have a guide who understood the customs and the languages. Guides and planners have usually helped me know where to stay, what restaurants to eat at, and what customs were socially acceptable. For example, when you meet someone, how do you greet them—do you shake hands, bow, or kiss them on the cheek? It’s pretty important to get that right!  

Both Ruth and Esther found themselves in foreign countries, and in some danger. Ruth, a citizen of Moab, chose to follow her mother-in-law to Israel. They were both widowed and destitute. Esther, a Jew, was living in Persia as an exile from her own country. She was a queen, but her king was known to dispose of queens. Their circumstances were very different, but both Esther and Ruth made wise decisions as they trusted in their God to lead them.

If you are not familiar with these small books in the Old Testament, you may want to read through them. Ruth has only four chapters, and Esther just ten. They can easily be read in one sitting, and I believe you will be intrigued by each story, and knowing the story will help you in your daily readings.

The writer of these devotionals, my former professor Rev. Arie Leder, discusses many themes as he takes us through the books. But behind each theme is the faithfulness and goodness of God. You can hear more of his thoughts as he wrote these devotions in this audio interview, Who Wrote It?

Listen to an interview with Rev. Arie Leder on Ruth and Esther

May you be refreshed, refocused and renewed in God’s Word.

About the author — Steven Koster

Rev. Dr. Steven Koster joined Back to God Ministries International in 2006 and soon launched ReFrame Media with a fresh vision for media and technology to build disciples and communities in Christ. During his time as Director of ReFrame, he also served as the Executive Editor of Today. Steven stepped down from these roles in 2019 as he felt led to focus on new challenges, including doctoral research and their family’s bed and breakfast in Grand Rapids. He and his wife Deb have three adult children and enjoy leading pre-marital counseling and marriage enrichment seminars. Steven continues to collaborate with Deb to produce our marriage and family ministry, Family Fire.

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