15 “And she [Naomi] said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
Ruth is a daughter-in-law of Naomi and Elimelech. During a time of famine, Naomi followed her husband from the land of Israel to the land of Moab; a very controversial move. In Moab, Naomi’s two sons married Moabite women; another controversial move.
After the deaths of all three husbands, Naomi decides to follow the stirring of the Holy Spirit and return to Israel; a smart move. However, perhaps fearing racial tensions in Israel, Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to return to Moab. Orpah quickly turns back, but Ruth … she follows.
She follows whom?
At first glance it appears she follows Naomi. When we follow the progression of the verses,
1. Where you go, I go,
2. Where you live, I live,
3. Your people, my people,
4. Your God, my God,
however, we learn she follows Naomi right to the heart of God.
In the eyes of the culture, Ruth has little future in Israel.
1. She’s a woman.
2. She’s a widow.
3. She’s a foreigner.
4. She’s a Moabite.
Despite the strikes against her, Ruth risks everything and she follows. The daughter-in-law of Naomi would rather live as an outcast and follow God in Israel than live in comfort in Moab. Ruth chooses her soul over her flesh.
Can we be like Ruth and fly in the face of public opinion and follow God?
- What steps do you need to take today to follow God?
- What do you need to leave behind so you can follow Him?
- Are you willing to follow without the approval of others, even the approval of close friends and family members?
Life is sweet.
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