Read Ruth 1.
In tough times people choose how they will respond. Some become discouraged and even bitter. Some throw up their hands and regress in life. Others make good decisions that set the course for their future. In this first chapter we see all three of these responses.
Chapter one is an introduction to three widows.
Naomi lost her husband and both her children. She wanted to be known as Mara, which means "bitter". She interpreted her sufferings to mean that God was punishing her. Naomi knew the LORD but could not yet process her emotional losses.
Orpah's response to the death of her husband was to go back to her Moabite family. This also meant that she would return to the worship of the false gods of
(v.15). She married into a family of
faith in the LORD but did not personally embrace Him as her own.
But then there was Ruth. She suffered the loss of her husband and had no children. Widows in that culture without other family members to support them were destitute. However, Ruth's response to her circumstances was to make new commitments that would secure her future, indeed her eternity.
Verses 16-17 are among the most powerful statements of commitment in all of the scriptures. This passage has often been used at weddings, but actually it is the vow of a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law.
1. She committed herself to her mother-in-law.
"...where you go, I will go..."
2. She committed herself to the people of God.
"Your people shall be my people."
3. She committed herself to the LORD.
"...and your God my God."
Though not of Jewish descent, Ruth had no idea how these choices would bless her life, the life of her mother-in-law, and bring her into the very lineage of Messiah!
Dr. John Maxwell wrote a wonderful book entitled, "Today Matters." In it he writes, "the way you live today impacts your tomorrow." Ruth is a great example of that principle and provides an excellent model for our life decisions today...they