“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!’” (Ruth 1:16-17)
The book of Ruth is a wonderful account of how a Moabitess is accepted into the Israelite community and ends up being in the lineage of the Messiah! It starts off in this chapter telling of a woman named Naomi. Her and her husband Elimelech were from Bethlehem in Judea, and they had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Because there was a severe famine in the land, they moved to the land of Moab where their two sons ended up marrying Orpah and Ruth- the focus of the story. In Moab, Elimelech dies, and ten years later, Mahlon and Kilion also dies. So Naomi is left with her two daughters-in-law. When she hears that the Lord has blessed the land of Judah again, she decides to go back to her homeland with her daughters-in-law, but on the way tells them both they should go home and find security with new husbands. Orpah, though sad, goes home. But Ruth is determined to stay with Naomi and makes a covenant with her, making the God of Naomi her God as well as everything else, and commits to even die where she dies.
The love that Ruth must have had for her mother-in-law, to make her commit her whole life to her, that she even changed who she worshipped! She left the old ways and customs and gods of the Moabites, to serve the living God of Naomi. My question today is, who’s following you? Has anyone lately decided to give up all they have, all their old ways and customs and even gods, just to follow the God who lives in you? I know that no one has with me yet! Maybe it’s because we are not really shining the light of Christ, allowing the love of God to shine through us. It’s a powerful thought, and very challenging- oh to influence others so much so, that they would change their whole lifestyle and outlook on life- their deepest values to follow the God you serve! Paul said be imitators of me, as I am of Christ! We need to walk as Jesus walked, an example for others to really follow. Amen.
“Father, I pray You would cause me to be an influence on others, that they would turn and follow You with all their heart, giving up all the old ways they used to live. Let me be an example in the world around me and the people You place in my path of relationship, that I may win some for Christ- in Jesus’ name, amen.”