Ruth 1:16

“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.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

There was a great famine in Israel. So Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and her two sons decided to pack up and head to the country of Moab. When they reached Moab and finally settled in, Naomi’s husband died. Her two sons married Moab women. One son married a woman Orpah, and the other son married a woman named Ruth. Then after ten years into their marriages, Naomi’s sons died. This left Naomi alone, without a husband and her two sons.  

Then Naomi heard that God blessed His people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws decided to return to Judah. On the way to Judah Naomi thanked her daughter-in-laws for their kindness and loyalty. Naomi then told them that they didn’t need to go back with her. She told them that they should go back home to their own families. This way they can still have a chance to remarry and carry on in life. At first, both refused and insisted on staying with Naomi. But after further convincing by Naomi, Orpah went back to her family, but Ruth was very adamant about staying by Naomi’s side. Ruth declared that Naomi’s people will be her people, and Naomi’s God will be her God.

Understanding-What does it mean?

God will bless those who are committed and loyal to Him.

Ruth showed major commitment and loyalty not only to Naomi, but to God. She did this by first sticking by Naomi’s side even when Naomi gave Ruth her blessing to go back home. Then when Ruth declared that Naomi’s people will be her people, and Naomi’s God will be her God, that changed everything for Ruth. 

That took a lot of faith on Ruth’s part to do what she did. I mean from Ruth’s vantage point, the only thing she could see was how God was treating Naomi. Here was a woman with a husband, and two sons (seems like a healthy and happy family). They left their homeland in search for a better life, and God not only takes away her husband, but also takes away her two sons. She left her homeland with a full and happy family, but now returns home empty and alone. Even Naomi herself felt that God had raised His fist against her! And Ruth is still one hundred percent on board in claiming Naomi’s God as her own?! Is she crazy?!!

But as you continue to read the book of Ruth you see how God blesses Ruth for her decision to stay loyal and committed to Naomi. In a way, when Ruth cares for her Mother-in-law, Naomi, she is also caring for God’s people. When Ruth submits to Naomi and is obedient to her directions, she is being obedient to God. And when Ruth claims Naomi’s people and God as her own…God welcomes her into the family. Ruth’s life was changed because of it. God protected her and watched over her even when she had to work the fields. While working the fields, God used the situation to help provide Ruth with food, shelter, and it helped introduce Ruth to her future husband Boaz. Ruth ultimately got remarried, and even gave birth to a son! 

When Ruth’s husband died, she had every chance and opportunity to leave and go back home to start over. She was hitting hard times. She was a widow and she had to perform hard manual labor working the fields. Her future looked dark and bleak. She could have even got up, gathered her things, and went back home.  Instead she stayed committed and loyal. She demonstrated great character. And I believe God blessed her because of it.

Life Application

Stay loyal and committed to God even through the rough patches in life.

God, help me to learn and be inspired by Ruth today. When things got rough and difficult in life, she chose to stay committed to You. She remembered her vow that she made when she claimed You as her own. Help me to remember the vow I made when I chose to follow You. Give me strength to stay committed and loyal to You not only during the good times, but even through the bad times as well. Give me faith to know that You are at work through it all, and Your plans are always good. In Your name Jesus I pray, Amen.
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-Moses Gaddi