The Point: Christ-centered living chooses commitment, not convenience. Her commitment is not just to Naomi; it is a lifetime commitment to Israel and to her God. Most Rabbinic traditions understand that Ruth’s vow signifies her conversion. I’ve thought about this often. Jon Drebert tells us part 1 of the story of Naomi and Ruth. After all you weren’t just “thrown together” with these people. Ruth was denying the idols of her Moabite background and clinging to the one true God. So Ruth followed Naomi and came to Bethlehem in the land of Judah during the beginning of the barley harvest—early spring. Your email address will not be published. 1. Subscribe to iTunes Download MP3. Jesus was God’s ultimate gift of deliverance. Boaz and Ruth would have a baby named Obed, who would grow up to have another baby named Jesse, who would grow up to have another baby—a baby who would be called King David. Ruth had heard about Naomi’s God and wanted to know more. Have a volunteer read Ruth 1:19-22. Remember Ruth’s commitment—her commitment to God that led to her commitment to her mother-in-law. Naomi tended to focus only on herself, on her lack of sons to give in marriage, and on her lack of a child to carry on the family line. Some of us were even older than that. You get to choose whether to help or not to help. Even your spouse—your husband or your wife—how much of that choice was made because you had a locker next to each other in high school or you went to the same church or you were in the same course together in college. Published in: The Bible Today, 32 [March 1994], 68-73. When He delivers us from sickness. And Ruth’s Spirit-born commitment to trust in the Lord also led her now to remain committed to her poor mother-in-law Naomi. Bible study on two important women in the Book of Ruth. The very David from whose lineage Jesus was born (Matthew 1:1-17). Naomi’s words in Ruth come alive on the page for this reason. What commitment to say, “I want to be buried next to you”! II. And in His death on the cross Jesus brought deliverance to the whole world—deliverance from sin, death, and the devil’s power. Even though Naomi knew that a new marriage for Ruth would change their relationship, she still played an important part in arranging the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. Ruth swears to follow Naomi, to lodge where she lodges. Ruth made a commitment to follow Naomi’s God as well (Ruth 1:16). The only real choice you have is to do the right thing, the God-pleasing thing, and to be faithfully committed to the people you’ve thrown together—and been thrown together—with in your life. Related Videos. Ruth is a foreigner with no cultural obligation to Naomi, Naomi’s people, or Naomi’s God. Week of October 29, 2017. Jon Drebert tells us part 1 of the story of Naomi and Ruth. First, when Naomi's whole life seemed to cave in while in Moab, it was God who gave Ruth to Naomi. Ruth’s Commitment. Remember the way that God worked through Ruth to bring deliverance to us all! Think for a minute about the people you’ve been thrown together with in this life. She swears that not even death will part her from Naomi.  Ruth not only promises—she swears by the name of the LORD that she will stay with her mother-in-law and live with her and even be buried where she is buried. Naomi’s darkness alludes to our Advent darkness. Relationships are covenants, not contracts. Ruth focused on Naomi and her need and on Naomi’s people and their God. He knew what was going on in their lives. Subscribe to iTunes Download MP3. THE BRAVERY OF RUTH’S COMMITMENT VS THE BITTERNESS OF NAOMI’S REACTION TO THE LORD’S HAND OF DISCIPLINE. I made a decision to follow Jesus at a very early age while my mom made cookies and I ate cookie doe. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. And if you swore an oath, you expected God Himself to hold you to it. And one did. Ruth, however, burst forth in a heartfelt statement of commitment and loyalty and chose to go along and live in Israel with Naomi. We need His deliverance from sin and guilt as much as anybody else! Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Be blessed. But then tragedy struck: Naomi’s husband died. Naomi gave Ruth the reasons she should stay in Moab. Upon their return, Naomi and Ruth had no way to support themselves and were in need of food. But Ruth wasn’t persuaded: “Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her” (v. 14). A. We were a “thrown-together” group of people—thirteen pastors, gathered around the table at the restaurant. Ruth chose to follow the LORD and to accompany Naomi back to Bethlehem. Ruth expressed her loyalty to Naomi in a solemn vow, calling judgment upon herself if she ever left her (Ruth 1:17). Both of the young widows at first refuse to leave Naomi… 4:7-12 Ruth becomes wife to Boaz. God brought you together! Your email address will not be published. The one who left was the one who honored Naomi’s word. When famine hit Bethlehem, Naomi and her husband moved to the land of Moab, where eventually their two sons met and married two women: Orpah and Ruth. But the story doesn’t end there. A contract is built on expectations while covenant is built on relationships. Ruth 1:16 “And Ruth said, Intreat 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:” We know Ruth as the quintessential representative of the grace of God. May Jehovah do so to me and add to it if anything … 4:1-6 Ruth receives redemption from Boaz. But Ruth’s commitment to Naomi went even further when she said what? It’s the kind of promise that maybe we wouldn’t expect Ruth to make. But Ruth refused to take her blessing and return to the relative security of her own people and family. First, we see Ruth's initiative to care for her mother-in-law. Naomi told the girls: Go back home. Naomi knew the obstacles Ruth would face as an outsider in Bethlehem. There is a certain joining that happened here: Ruth joining Naomi’s journey and then joining the people of God. In this world where we human beings are seemingly thrown together, we hold up her example of commitment as something to recall and hold onto each and every day. The love of Ruth for her mother-in-law parallels the love God has for humanity. Question: "Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions?" Ruth says, "Let me go to the field, and glean along the ears of grain." A contract is self-centered but a covenant … We give glory and thanksgiving to God—not just for taking us to be with Him someday in heaven, but for all the little everyday deliverances that He brings into our lives. For where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. She was burning her bridges behind her. Ruth is an example of loyal love not only in her decision to leave her family and her country to … The only things in Ruth’s favor were her loyal love to Naomi and her commitment to the God of Israel. Glenna S. Jackson . Ruth uses the holy Name of the LORD (Yahwah), the Yud Hey Vav Hey in her statement to Naomi rather than the more commonly quoted Elohim.Biblical scholars point out that this is the only time Ruth ever evokes the name LORD whereas Naomi and Boaz use it quite frequently in a medley of blessings. 1:31. Naomi was an Ephrathites of the tribe of Judah, from the town of Bethlehem. It starts the day that you’re born, doesn’t it? She was willing to sacrifice family ties, marriage, and a family to do so. One writer says that Naomi was a grieving widow, Orpah was a leaving widow, and Ruth was a cleaving widow. And yet we were thrown together—eating and laughing, listening to each other’s stories, even bearing each other’s burdens! 4:16-17) Do we sometimes have a similar problem? But that’s life! You get to choose whether to love or not to love. This was a commitment even to death. This was a vow of total commitment. Amen. Yet, in Ruth 1:16-17 Ruth’s reply to Naomi is a classic statement of commitment and covenant love. The Gift of Ruth. This book showcases how God rewards Ruth's loyalty and commitment to Naomi. The only things in Ruth’s favor were her loyal love to Naomi and her commitment … Ruth set off to the field of Boaz, a kinsmen of Naomi’s husband, to pick grain. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. They definitely didn’t take their oaths in the name of the Lord! Naomi knew the obstacles Ruth would face as an outsider in Bethlehem. They are not just some sentimental, wishy-washy feelings that were spoken in the moment. She swears that she will join the Israelites rather than the Moabites and will even follow the God of Israel. This level of commitment seems strange in our culture because many people enter into relationships as if they were … “Where the Spirit of Christ leads me, I will go.” Whether it’s to the heat of the tropics or the frozen polar regions or the crazy metropolises of this world, God calls His people and they, like Ruth… When it comes to these people, the world says, “You get to choose!” You get to choose whether to stay or go. This is where Ruth comes in. She would abandon the gods of Moab, and Ruth and Naomi would both be committed to the one true God of Israel. And because this love reflects the very nature of God, we will see His love, grace, steadfastness, compassion, patience, courage, forgiveness, truth, and strength played out within our relationships. “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. In those days people didn’t take an oath lightly. Ruth's Initiative to Care for Naomi. Why was Ruth so eager to make this oath and go with Naomi and not return home to her people and her gods? Naomi’s thinking made so much sense, in fact, that Orpah was persuaded. NKJV Ruth 1:1-19a (esp. I. Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law. 9. God provides for His people even in the midst of famine. God will honor you as you honor Him and those around you. The Book of Ruth is the story of a woman whose devotion and loyalty provide an inspiring picture of faith and resilience. Sometimes a great and necessary mission can be the place where we discover our own gifts and in the process discover God's abiding and creative presence with us. And that deliverance is exactly what God brought! Maybe it is just the people who live on the same street or ride the same bus. Naomi’s words in Ruth come alive on the page for this reason. Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 15:51. Naomi again tried to persuade Ruth to return to her people and their gods, but without success. Ruth then swears loyalty to Naomi in these words that anticipate the vow of the prophet Elisha to the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 2:2). She sealed her commitment to Naomi with an oath. Boaz, the leader of the Jewish people and a kinsman of Naomi’s late husband Elimelech, has just noticed Ruth, the proselyte, gleaning in his fields. “Obed became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David” (4:17). She was burning her bridges behind her. Jon Drebert tells us part 1 of the story of Naomi and Ruth. Ruth and Naomi both characterized loyalty. You just happened to be dropped into the same 3rd grade class together or lived next door to each other or played the same sport together. Naomi gave Ruth the reasons she should stay in Moab. Not only did she continue on with Naomi, but she determined to follow her God. Sometimes it can seem like we’re all just kind of thrown together—but it’s just the grace of God at work, bringing His deliverance, His help—to us, to others, and all those in need. Required fields are marked *. Lisa. For where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. While Orpah returned to her mother's home, Ruth clung to Naomi and told her that she will stay with her and that Naomi's God and people will be her God and people. And it’s in those fulfilled promises—because there is now peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ—that our Lord promises to deliver us! Part 24 - 07/01/10 God’s involvement in both good times, and bad. In Ruth’s decision to follow Naomi, we see God’s sovereign grace to save Ruth and bring her into the family of Yahweh. These words were a vow, or perhaps we might say an oath. Ruth cared enough for Naomi to forsake her homeland and help provide for Naomi with no guarantee of security for herself. Different backgrounds, different hometowns. Were Ruth and Orpah going to wait for those theoretical sons to grow up? Ruth’s reply to Naomi is a classic statement of commitment and covenant love. How was Naomi received in Bethlehem? So Ruth spoke: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night. ” (Midrash Tanchuma Lech Lecha 6:32) The secret to success in Jewish commitment might be found in the “surrender to God” process that Ruth herself went through. A deliverance that God brought about by leading a foreign woman named Ruth to trust in His promises—His promises of deliverance. “When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her” (ch. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Her commitment to journey on with Naomi was a beautiful, selfless act, and a stunning example of the love of Christ – the same Christ who would be of her bloodline years later. 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