Ruth 1: The first chapter starts with a sad note. Undoubtedly, loosing the spouse and children in a foreign land was not that easy (v. 21). However, we see glimpses of God’s redemptive actions. Naomi left Bethlehem with her family during a famine, but returned with Ruth at the beginning of barley harvest. This demonstrates the beginning of “Something Great.” God can turn our bitter situation into a better. Hold unto God.
Ruth 1:20 Naomi’s name meant “pleasant”, but her life had become anything but pleasant. Upon her return to Bethlehem, Naomi renamed herself Mara(“Bitter”), claiming that God had treated her bitterly.
Ruth 1- If Orpah and Ruth returned to their own people it is returning to their own gods v. 15. Ruth’s choice of going with her mother-in-law was a choice to follow Yahweh. Ruth made a best choice. Her name is recorded in the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew 1:5
Ruth 1 -(16) Wherever you go I will go, and wherever you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and “your God my God”.
-God is at work! Jesus Christ’s root starts from Ruth (a gentile!), it is purely God’s plan, that’s why Ruth says “your God is my God”.
-Naomi said “I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty” (v21). Naomi didn’t know that God has brought her back to fulfill His purpose!
Donald Trump’s election in the US gives a new rendering to our text . Immigrants have been a focus of this post election. Many talks have been circulating about maintaining ones identity of religion, country and race. This text challenges all of them and answers the question: Should we acclimatize or assimilate ? Should we accommodate or accept?Here is Ruth a woman who was a Moabite who married a Jewish man but was to be widowed twice. Heart broken, she decides to cross over to Judea with her mother in law. Imagine for a widowed women in those days to change countries. It is a very challenging proposition.
1. She takes a new racial identity. (V16). Your people will be my people. She is committed to the people. She is ready to embrace their customs and their way of thinking. She is not saying I will try and see if it works. She goes all the way through.
2. She takes a permanent geographical identity. (Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried (16,17). For her the new country was the homeland . She was a committed daughter of the soil.
3. She take a new Religious/moral identity. Your God will be my God (16). The ultimate commitment for anyone in this world is to accept the Lord of Israel 🇮🇱 as the Lord of her life.
The world is changing but our mission is unchanging. For the missionaries who hits a new tribe or a Christian in a foreign land, he/she has to be a valued member of the community. Sometimes, we may have to assimilate with the people not just adjust, we may even have to die in the host soil until they say “your God will be our God”.
Her long term commitment to her community, her assimilation and her deep faith in Yahweh is why Jew love her to this day. This is also probably why Jesus himself ( the ultimate cross cultural immigrant) did the same. He took our identity and died in our soil.
So we can say ” your God is our God”
Ruth 1 A widowed DIL’s love and commitment towards her widowed MIL shapes the destiny of future generations. Vs 16 There is an extreme commitment on Ruth’s end because of the genuine love for her MIL.