Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ruth 1:6-18

This passage takes a closer look at three widows who have been linked together through marriage. Naomi, hears that her homeland, Israel, has come out of the famine and been blessed with plenty of food. With no blood family remaining with her, her heart longs to be home. Both of her daughter-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, set out to take this journey with her, back to her homeland. Along the way it hits Naomi that she should not expect them to leave their people to come with her, so she pleads with them to go back to their mothers and remarry. At her age, she will no longer have children for them to marry, which was the custom of her people for a younger brother to marry the widow of his older brother. So she urges them to stay in Moab. Eventually, Orpah decides to go back to her land, but Ruth insists on going back to Israel with Naomi.

We can look at these decisions made by these two women as a picture of two kinds of commitments that are made to Jesus Christ. Often two people face with the same situaiton and confronted with the same truth will both make a commitment to Christ. As they go along we see the difference in those commitments. Oen was a commitment made by stirred emotions, often with an inaccurate view of the Lord and with hope of gaining something through that decision. With this type of commitment, eventually they will turn back to their old ways, when the it gets tough. The other is a real commitment of one's whole person. Ruth tells Naomi, "Where you will I will go...your people shall be my people, your God shall be my God...I will never go back." Ruth was whole-heartedly committed to Naomi, but not just to Naomi, to the God that Naomi taught them about while she was with them in the land of Moab.

Naomi too, had a whole-hearted commitment to her God, as she took Him with her to an enemy country, complete with its own gods and religions. She could have turned to the traditions of the people of Moab, but instead she taught her family about the one true God, and in the end Ruth saw that truth and knew she could never return to the ways of her people.

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