In the first chapter of the Book of Ruth, Naomi loses her husband, her two sons, and she decides to move back to her home in Judah. Naomi encourages both of her daughters-in-law to go back to their family homes. One daughter-in-law chose to return home, and here is the other daughter-in-law’s response:
Ruth 1:16-17 (NLT)
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. 17 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!”
It is amazing that the heart of a young Gentile woman from the Old Testament, is directly connected to our relationship with Christ. You and I can only pray that we are as surrendered, committed, and faithful to Christ, as Ruth was to Him through her actions towards her mother-in-law. Let’s look at some verses within the New Testament that connect to Ruth from the Old Testament:
Surrender: When Ruth says, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.” It is a reminder of what Jesus says to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Commitment: “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16) Ruth gave up her human life to experience the Glory of God by going and living with Naomi and by accepting her people and God as her own.
Faith: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Ruth asked for the Lord’s punishment if she allowed anything to separate her and Naomi.
Without knowing in her human mind, Ruth’s spirit understood that her surrender, commitment, and faith to the Lord was absolutely everything. Ruth would become King David’s great-grandmother, and we know that Jesus is part of that blood line. We must allow Ruth to serve as an example for our own lives. We cannot wait to surrender, to commit, and to have faith. We must do it now, and remain stable in Christ all of the time.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your Word. Help us to always be surrendered to You, to remain fully committed, and to never lose our faith. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant