I was getting ready to write my blog entry for the week and received an email from Jim Hiatt. I thought that his comments fit perfectly into what we are talking about on Sunday. He was sharing about a variety of references to “noonday devil” in songs. He wondered what this was all about. After researching, he discovered that this phrase had its origins in desert monasticism. It was the noon day that was the most difficult to pray.The monk would question his calling, wonder if it was worth it to pray. He would be prone to despair in the heat.
In many ways, Ruth and Naomi find themselves fighting the “noonday devil” in this week’s text. Life has dealt them difficult circumstances. Many scholars liken Naomi to a female Job. Her life is falling apart; despair and grief mark her days.
On Sunday, we’re going to begin the story of Ruth. In the first five verses, the scene is described. From famine to relocation, from barrenness to widowhood, Naomi’s life takes a plunge. As we consider her suffering, it prompts us to consider our own suffering. For many, life has not been ideal. How do we respond? As we consider this text, we find that lament is a natural and often necessary part of life. How do we fight the “noonday devil”?