Ruth 1:16..And Ruth said, Entreat 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, where thou diest, will I die and there will I be buried, the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
.The story of Ruth is story of unconditional love between Ruth, a Moabite woman, and her mother-in-law Naomi. Naomi and her husband Elimelech with their two sons Mahlon and Chilion came to sojourn in Moab because of the famine that was in the land of Bethlehem-Judah at that time. The husband died and Naomi was left with her two sons. The sons got married to Orpah and Ruth and they dwelt to gether for about ten years but there was no issue. Mahlon and Chilion also died and Naomi was left with her two daughters-in-laws. Then Naomi arose that she might return to her country because she heard that God had turned their situation around and given them bread. She advised her daughters-in-law to go back to their mother’s house and prayed that the LORD would deal bountifully with them as they had done with her and their husbands that are dead. While Orpah turned back, Ruth insisted to go with her to Bethlehem and made the powerful statement of all time, a statement of devotion, dedication and love to the woman that had now become her mother.
Ruth had lived with Naomi for about ten years. She must have had a wonderful relationship with her husband and her mother-in-law. For these ten years, Naomi had demonstrated her love for God and for her family.and did not allow the challenges that faced her to stand between her and her God. Naomi must have given Ruth hope in the midst of her childlessness.because God of Israel is God of wonders that could be trusted and nothing is impossible for Him to do. Despite the devotion and dedication of Naomi to her God, there were a lot of tragedies that God allowed to happen to Naomi, husband died, the two sons did not have any issue and they both died, leaving Naomi and the wives. God is all-knowing God and He alone has the explanation of why He allows certain things to happen. But the Bible says, in all circumstances we should give thanks to God because He is a merciful and compassionate God whose mercies endure to all generations. Therefore the attitude of Naomi to all that happened to her must have drawn Ruth closer to her God (God of Israel) and to her mother-in-law. It was out of love for this mother-in-law and compassion that must have moved her to want to follow her no matter what. She was not thinking of herself, and her own family whom she was leaving behind.
The dedication of Ruth to her mother-in-law is the same dedication that Jesus is requesting from his followers. The followers of Jesus must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. Matthew 19:29 says “And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” This was what Ruth did, she left everything that was hers behind at Moab and traveled to Bethlehem for Naomi’s sake so that she could be of help to her. She was not expecting anything in return, but God rewarded her loyalty with a godly husband named Boaz, and a child called Obed who was the father of Jesse and grandfather to David. God rewarded her beyond her expectation. In the genealogy of Christ in the book of Luke, her name appeared there. Ruth, a Moabite because of her total dedication to God, became a woman whose name will be forever remembered for the good she had done.
What about you children of God, how do you want to be remembered? Ruth made a decision that day to follow her mother-in-law to a foreign land and vowed to serve the God of Israel, and to become one of them (her people shall be my people) and where she dwells , she will dwell there, she promised never to leave her nor forsake her, but will take care of her till the end of her days. Every day we make decisions that affect our destiny and impact other lives either positively or negatively. Let us make decision today that will have eternal value. We need to rededicate our lives to Christ and stop playing church.. Let us be vigilant and be sober, watching earnestly for his return. May He meet us blameless and spotless children of God in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer…Lord keep us watching for your return and make us to be completely dedicated to YOU.