Ruth is committed to Naomi

Two travelers were on the road together, when a bear suddenly appeared on the scene. Before he observed them, one made for a tree, and climbed up into the branches and hid there. The other could not escape, so he threw himself on the ground and pretended to be dead. The bear … More

Friendship

Naomi told Ruth, “Orpah has gone back to her people and her gods and you should go back with her gods and you should go back with her” (v. 15).  Ruth answers her by begging her not to make her go back and says she wants to go where Naomi goes and to stay where Naomi stays (v. 16).  She makes it evident that this determination is not meant to be short-lived as she states that she  will stay with Naomi until death and die where Naomi dies (v. 17). She even concludes by calling down divine punishment upon her­self should she fail to keep her word.

Naomi sees that Ruth is determined and so she accepts the situation and stopped arguing (v. 18).  When the two women arrive back in Bethlehem the city is buzzing with excitement (v. 19). She told them, “Don’t call me Naomi any longer! Call me Mara, because God has made my life bitter. I had everything when I left, but the LORD has brought me back with nothing. How can you still call me Naomi, when God has turned against me and made my life so hard” (vv. 20-21)? Most of the men are out in the fields working as it is the beginning of barley harvest (the end of April) but the women of Bethlehem came out excitedly to greet them (v. 22. Several years had passed since Naomi had left and because of the hard time she had gone through she no doubt looked much different.

Application

Ruth’s decision to leave her country and her people and the vow she made to stick with Naomi is one of the scriptures’ greatest illustrations of true friendship and loyalty. I need to have a similar commitment to the family that God has given to me and not allow the circumstances and temptations of this life separate me from this family relationship.    

Ruth 1:15-22 (English Standard Version)

And she said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." 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. 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." And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, "Is this Naomi?" She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?" So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

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