Today’s Reading: Ruth 1-4
Today’s Reflection: Ruth 1:16-17
16) But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17) Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
The story of Ruth is one that starts out in tragedy. Naomi and her husband, both Jewish, move to Moab where their two sons marry Moabite women. Naomi’s husband dies, leaving her a widow and dependant on her sons for survival. Then Naomi’s two sons die as well. Three single women in a foreign land at that time could never make a living on their own, so Naomi plans to return to her family in Israel and urges her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to return to their families in Moab as well. Orpah tearfully goes back home, but Ruth refuses, making the beautiful declaration in today’s reflection text.
Orpah’s devotion to God didn’t go beyond her husband, so her relationship with God died with her husband. But something more had happened to Ruth. The God of Israel and His ways got into her, so that even after her husband died the faith and devotion she felt for God did not die. Ruth clung to the thing closest to her that connected her to that faith, her mother-in-law Naomi, insisting on going wherever she went, even though it would take her far from any life she had ever known.
It is easy to maintain our faith in God when things are good, but it is at times when things go wrong that we are put to the test. Is your faith only as deep as your job, your marriage, your success, and your possessions? If you lose these things do you turn back from what you’ve learned from your time with God and return to what you once knew? Or do you cling to God despite the difficulties and challenges you’re facing?
I encourage you to hold on to God, and when things go wrong to hold on even tighter. In truth He is the only thing in life we cannot live without.
Job 13:15(a) – Though he slay me, I will hope in him.