WOMEN OF THE BIBLE SERIES
Ruth’s Reward (Ruth 1:14-17)
Ruth 1:14-17, And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Northwestern University researchers have developed an adhesive by combining geckos and mussels which has resulted in a superb adhesive which lasts for over one thousand contact cycles. Here we see Ruth who was not going to take no for an answer. Her actions spoke of her loyalty and devotion. As she would faithfully stick by Naomi’s side, may this encourage us to faithfully cling to Christ. We can take comfort that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us.
When Ruth promised her mother-in-law she would go where she went, live among her people, and honor her God, she showed an example of unconditional loyalty. When she committed herself to the very end of both their lives, she revealed the great woman she truly was. Ruth's decision beautifully portrays what every believer's relationship should be with Jesus. In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved his bride, the church, even to the point of death (giving His life for the church). God intends for human commitments, specifically marriage, to be unending, and there can be no commitment to another without the total giving of oneself. We need more commitments like this one in marriage today.
Ruth’s Fidelity. “...Ruth clave unto her...” (Ruth 1:14). What an example of human commitment and loyalty. The word clave means "to cling to, join with" It is a very strong word that carries the idea of a permanent bond. This speaks of Ruth's unwavering loyalty.
Ruth’s Friendship. “...for whither thou goest, I will go...” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth was showing herself to be a true friend. A friend loveth at all times... (Proverbs 17:17)...there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). A true friend stands by those they love. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Jesus is that kind of a friend to us. May we, as believers, be that kind of a friend to Him.
Ruth’s Future. “...where thou lodgest, I will lodge...” (Ruth 1:16). She is saying, whether you live in a mansion or a shack I will lodge where you lodge. Most will follow as long as certain conditions are met. However, Ruth was willing to follow no matter what. This is the kind of commitment Christ wants from His followers.
Ruth’s Family. “...thy people shall be my people...” (Ruth 1:16). “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). We are His children. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). As Christians, we have been born again into the family of God.
Ruth’s Faith. “...and thy God my God...” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth left all behind for the sake of her new found faith. Paul who said, “...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). May we, as God's children, be as faithful.
When we look back on Ruth’s life. What she lost was nothing compared to what she had gained. Ruth’s full reward came about because of Who she trusted. How often have Christian’s missed God’s full reward because they only half trusted Him. God is still looking for people of deep conviction, those who will nurture a ‘for richer or poorer’, ‘in sickness and in health’, ‘till death do us part’ kind of commitment. Can you say these words to Christ? ‘I’m committed to You through thick and thin. Where You go, I’ll go. What You do, I’ll do. Whom You love, I will love. I’m with You, not only to death, but through death.’ Maybe, like Ruth, you need to leave something or someone behind to follow Christ. There will be sacrifices; the journey of faith is costly. Even today, your commitment to God will be challenged and tested. But hold on to God, persevere in your faith and don’t be afraid to love Him wholeheartedly. Because, like Ruth, you know what kind of God He is!
PRAYER: LORD, You gave Heaven’s best to redeem me and give me the greatest security of all. How blessed I am to have a faithful friend in Jesus. Thank You for Your committed care and help me to trust You more.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.