But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17
Naomi’s story takes a hopeful turn when word reaches her that the Lord had come to the aid of His people, the Israelites. Remember the cycle the Israelites were in…rebel, remorse, God’s hand/peace, repeat. The tide seems to have turned and there is peace in Israel now. With no family ties to Moab and nowhere to turn, Naomi decides to head home.
Naomi urges the wives of her two deceased sons to stay with their people in Moab. Going with Naomi would mean a significant change in their lifestyle and culture. It would mean worshipping the God of Naomi’s religion and living a life of hardship and poverty with no male head of household.
One of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, likes the idea of showing kindness to Naomi but is not up to the sacrifices of following through. Not so of Ruth.
Ruth is set on traveling with Naomi and comforting her in this time of despair. She knows what the right thing to do is, and she does it!
She is determined to leave her home, people, gods, and lifestyle to comfort and serve Naomi. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she believes Naomi’s God – our God – is BETTER than anything she would leave behind.
With nothing but each other and hope for a better future, Ruth joins Naomi on the journey back home.
Questions: Has anyone ever stuck with you during a hard time in your life, even when it required a sacrifice on their part? Do you think that Ruth, living with her husband’s family, was introduced to their God (the God of Israel…our God)? Do you think God has the power to draw people to Him, even in the “foreign” lands of difficult circumstances, a culture and world that tends to reject Him, a time when following the One True God is not very popular?