The book of Ruth is a gem among the precious models of faith in the Bible for women to aspire to. The great grandmother of David and therefore an earthly ancestor of our Lord Jesus, Ruth’s kindness and sacrificial love is perhaps unparalleled among the Bible stories.
When their husbands died, Naomi encouraged her two Moabite daughters-in-law to return to their families and re-marry. Naomi, also a widow, had no means to provide for Ruth and Orpah and was returning from Moab to her homeland of Israel. Orpah reluctantly returned to her mother’s house, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi.
‘Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God’ Ruth 1:16
The testimony of Ruth’s submission and obedience, her deep desire to draw near to the one true God and His people and her perfect love for her mother-in-law are well known. It is not only Ruth’s faith that delights the Christian. The one who hungers to be like Jesus, who loves to see God’s righteous beauty manifested in His children, is also struck by Ruth’s lack of blemishes. Finding herself without home or family, where is her insecurity or distrust? Where is doubt, apprehension about the future, where is her fear of leaving everything, of travelling far from all that is normal and comfortable? Where is the struggle to leave the godless and worldly life behind her? Ruth trustingly and unhesitatingly gives herself, ‘no holding back’ to Naomi and her God.
In fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, can you willingly give your all, sacrificially, to the body and bride of Jesus? Like Ruth, would you lay down your life for your friends? Have you ever felt, as Ruth did, that it would be impossible to separate from the brethren? Do you long to stick close together with your brothers and sisters, just to talk joyfully about our Lord and things He has done? Is it hard to leave the company of your Christian sisters and brothers to go back as an alien into a foreign land? Do you, like Ruth, say to Jesus, in great rejoicing and determination of will, “wherever you go, I will go”? Or, like luke-warm Orpah, do you reluctantly turn back every day to things of this world, feeling a measure of love for the things of God, but lacking the commitment to carry it through?
I pray that as God draws you to his heart, He will bless you with power and strength to walk resolutely with Him, until He returns. Amen