Sunday, 7 March 2021
“Entreat me not to leave you…Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” -Ruth 1:16
The Book of Ruth, a small story in a rustic setting has a larger significance drawing a parallel between Boaz, Ruth’s kinsman redeemer and Christ our Kinsman Redeemer! A kinsman redeemer in the Jewish tradition was a close relative who had enough means to redeem a poor relative who would otherwise be sold into slavery if he didn’t step in to save the ancestral property that belonged to the poor person. See how Jesus our brother (Hebrews 2:11) took the human form and gave His everything to redeem us from being sold into slavery to satan all our life—Jesus bought us- redeemed us with His precious blood (Eph.1:7)- He truly is our Kinsman Redeemer!
But for our reflection today from our reading of Ruth 1, we will focus on 2 women with two different attitudes and draw our lessons from them
Dejected Naomi vs Promising Ruth
Naomi having had great losses in life was dejected- and rightly so—she lost her husband and two sons and her dignity in the society! When she heard the Lord had visited His people, she decided to return. Her words, “the hand of the Lord has gone against me” (v.13) shows her sorry state and an attitude of resigning to her fate.
See in contrast Ruth, the loyal daughter-in-law who had no qualms in setting out with her mother-in-law and “clung” to her even when she had the better option of returning to her own people! Here was a girl, in the prime of her youth willing to stick to her widowed mother-in-law no matter what the future held for her!
Loyalty is the character that shines forth in Ruth. When in our generation, marriages, parental/in-law relationships are thrown to the winds for silly reasons, Ruth’s loyalty is an example to follow. Loyalty was exemplified in Jesus, when He laid down His life for you and me [“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13].
Skeptical Naomi vs Hopeful Ruth
Life had turned Naomi bitter and its portrayed in her words, “…call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” (v.20). She was still complaining and unable to trust that God could fill her emptiness.
Ruth on the other hand was hopeful, displaying trust in the God who she had embraced (leaving her pagan roots) and her mother-in-law who was taking her to an unknown land. We see her words of strong faith in the key verse: “Entreat me not to leave you…Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”(v.16)
Ruth was the possessor of strong faith- as described in Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Looking at the lives of Ruth and Naomi, we can choose our attitudes- we can choose to be loyal and hopeful rather than dejected and skeptical in the tough situations we go through in life. Our attitude makes a big difference. Ruth chose to trust God into the unknown future and she was rewarded with a new life with Boaz – what more- her name came to be recorded in the lineage of Jesus!
May the Lord enable each of us like Ruth to trust GOD entirely with our lives and watch Him work His plan in our lives!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1
Listen: 'I will trust in YOU'