In the book of Ruth, there's a beautiful story of self-sacrifice, love and loyalty. After Ruth's husband dies, her mother-in-law urges Ruth and her sister-in-law to go back to their own mother's house. There, they be fortunate enough to find another husband. However, Ruth decides to stay with Naomi.
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV)
Ruth is aware that she and Naomi will probably suffer many hardships when they move back to Naomi's home town of Bethlehem. In fact, she knows they will have to work hard. Naomi instructs Ruth on how to glean in the fields where the wheat, barley and grains are being harvested. Naomi hopes that Ruth will find the favor of a good, righteous man who will meet their needs. The story has a happy ending. Ruth meets Boaz, a good and upright man. He provides for both Ruth and Naomi and takes Ruth as his wife. As we continue to read the stories throughout the Old Testament, Ruth gives birth to a son, Obed, who later becomes the father of Jesse, who later becomes the father of David.
Ruth was obedient and her loyalty and obedience was rewarded more than she could ever imagine. She is known throughout history as a key player in the lineage of David, from which came Christ.
Another thought to consider is that Ruth's loyalty and self-sacrificing love toward Naomi gives us an example of Christ's love for us. We are to be imitator's of Christ. We are to love selflessly. We are to put others ahead of ourselves.
“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:2-5 (NIV)
When one decides to give one's heart to Christ, to follow Jesus and become a Christian, that status does not guarantee a life full of simplicity. No, a life in Christ means humbling yourself, becoming a servant unto God and allowing Him to lead you through life and use you however He will. We no not His plans for us, but we know He works out all things for good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Are you there yet? Are you in a place where you can say, ” Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. Where you move, I'll move. I will follow you.” (lyrics to “I Will Follow You” by Chris Tomlin.)
Are you willing to follow God wherever He leads? Something to think about.