But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16 NLT)
Ruth is a beautiful example of how love and faithfulness always lead to blessings.
The storyline in the Book of Ruth is one where Naomi, an Israelite, moves to Moab and loses her husband and two sons. Naomi makes plans to go back to Bethlehem, her homeland. Ruth, the other daughter-in-law, Orpah, plans to return with her. Naomi tried to persuade them not to go with her as it would mean her getting married again and having two sons who would grow up and marry them—a virtual impossibility. Orpah decides to stay in Moab, but Ruth makes her beautiful reply of love and faithfulness found in verse 16. I am unsure what this woman looked like physically, but this was one classy lady.
This remarkable story of redemption continues in Bethlehem. Instead of remaining passive in her dismal situation, Ruth does the possible and gleans in the field of Boaz, a relative of Naomi. God, in turn, does what Ruth cannot do; he orchestras a marriage with Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, which takes care of her and her mother-in-law. Do the possible and expect God to do the impossible.
Short-term gratification is prevalent in our culture. We often prioritize short-term gain and minimize the long-term pain it may place on others. Love is willing the highest possible good for all concerned, including others and self. Ruth was willing to experience immediate difficulty to benefit someone other than herself, Naomi.
Many Christians in this world come to a fork in the road. One way appears to be a dead end. The other side looks to have blessings and prosperity down the road. For some strange reason, God seems to be directing you down the path without hope. The side that you take will determine who you serve.
The image is used with permission from Microsoft.