Ruth 1:16-17: But Ruth said [to Naomi], “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!” The Message
You probably heard this story, about Ruth and Naomi. Naomi was from Israel, but because there was a famine, she and her husband and two sons moved to Moab, where the two sons married, one of them to Ruth, a girl from Moab. Awhile later, Naomi’s husband and both of their sons died, leaving Naomi and her two daughters in law. Naomi decided the only place for her to go was back to her home in Israel, so she told her two daughters in law to go back to their own families. One of them did. But for some unknown reason Ruth didn’t want to leave Naomi (maybe God had a plan?). So Ruth made the short speech above, and Naomi says, “Well, OK, let’s go.”
You gotta love this story. This is a story of true love, true commitment. This little short speech is almost like the wedding vows, “I will love you and care for you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, until death do us part.” This is the kind of commitment that God wants from us, that He wants from our hearts. If we give Him this kind of commitment, He will give us the desires of our hearts. He will give us eternal life, starting right now.
The story goes on to say that Naomi and Ruth went back to Naomi’s home town, where her relatives would help them. After they got there, Ruth went out to work in the fields, and she met Boaz, and he took a likin’ to her. One thing led to another, and they got married and had a baby. So Naomi, in her old age, was a happy grandma. The story of Boaz, Ruth and Naomi is a foreshadowing of the story of Jesus. Boaz was their ‘kinsman-redeemer’, who God sent to take care of them. God is like that.
Oh, and by the way, the baby’s name was Obed, he was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David. He became king of Israel, and he was a direct ancestor of our Lord Jesus. So an unknown Moabite girl named Ruth, was (16)great-grandmother of Jesus. Why would God do that? I think it’s ‘cause He wants us to know that He can (and will) use anyone who has a surrendered heart like Ruth. Praise the Lord!