Posts Tagged ‘Ruth’

Ruth: A Picture of Following Christ

And 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: Where 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.

Ruth 1:16-17

The more I think about it, the more I think that this passage represents what our walk with the Lord should look like.  Ruth is telling her mother in law Naomi that she is going to stay with her, just as we should be wanting to stay with Christ.  The Bible says that Ruth “clave to Naomi”, and we should be clinging to the cross of Christ every day.  Take a look at what a great picture this story provides for us:

1. “Whither thou goest, I will go”
-That should be our attitude toward Jesus: “wherever you go, I will go”.  He leads; we follow.  As the song says, “wherever He leads, I’ll go.  I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so…”.  Where He goes, we go.

2. “Where thou lodgest, I will lodge”
-When He stops, we need to stop.  There is no point in trying to move on in our lives without Him, although we often try to do just that.  We need to wait patiently for His leading and guidance.

3. “Thy people shall be my people”
-Our love of our Christian brethren has always been a test of discipleship.  Who do we classify as “our people”?  Do we love our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Are God’s people our people?  They should be.

4. “Thy God my God”
-Ruth was a Moabitess.  She probably grew up worshipping idols of some sort.  But she wanted to worship the true God of Naomi.  She wanted to leave her idols and cling to the one true God.  We need to follow the Lord and leave behind everything that could possibly keep us from serving Him.

5. “Where thou diest, I will die”
-Jesus died for us on the cross.  Paul said that “I am crucified with Christ”.  We are supposed to die to ourselves.  Paul also said to “mortify the deeds of the flesh”.  Our old, fleshly nature needs to die.

6. “…and there will I be buried”
-I love the wording here and how the Bible phrases this.  In the previous part of the verse, Ruth says that where Naomi dies, she will die.  But then she says that she will be buried there, but says nothing about Naomi being buried there.  What an amazing picture of us and our Saviour!  We are crucified with Christ- we are supposed to “die where He died”.  But Christ is risen!  He is no longer buried.  Our flesh, however, should remain buried.  We should be dead to ourselves and alive to Him. 

This passage should always serve as an encouragement to us to walk with the Lord with the same attitude that Ruth had toward Naomi.  May we every be faithful to Him!

Ruth Clave

And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you… Turn again my daughters… Turn again, my daughters, go your way.
And they lifted up their voice and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
And Ruth said… whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.

Ruth 1:11, 12, 14, 16

If you are familiar with the story of Ruth, you know all about this passage.  Ruth was a Moabitess and, along with her sister in law, had married the two sons of Naomi.  Unfortunately, both of these sons died and Naomi decided to return home.  She told both of her daughters in law to go back to their homes, as she had no more sons for them to marry.  Orpah went home, but Ruth refused to go.  The Bible says that she clave to Naomi. (interesting English language fact: the word “cleave” is the only word in the English language that has two definitions that are antonyms of each other- in one sense, cleave means to stick to or stay close to, and in the other sense, it means to split apart).  In this case, Ruth clave to Naomi in the sense that she stayed with her.  She refused to leave.

This refusal to leave showed a great faith on the part of Ruth.  It would have been easier for her to go back to her people, but she knew that Naomi had something better.  She said that wherever Naomi went, she was going.  Wherever Naomi stayed, she was staying.  Naomi’s people would be her people and Naomi’s God would be her God.  To me, that is the attitude one must have when coming to Christ.  That is the kind of faith we must have.

This passage reminded me of the passage in John 6 in which Jesus asked the disciples “Will ye also go away?”.  I love Peter’s answer: “Lord, to whom shall we go?  thou hast the words of eternal life.”  That must be our attitude: we are going to follow Christ, come what may.  His people will be our people and He will be our God.  What a great example of faith we have in Ruth!

Handfuls of Purpose

And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:  And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

Ruth 2:15-16

In the Old Testament days, when the farmers went out to harvest their fields, they were told not to get every last ear of corn or piece of grain.  They were to leave some for the poor people to glean.  Ruth, who was a widow from Moab who had come back to Israel with her mother in law, was one of these poor people who was gleaning the corn in the field of Boaz. 

Boaz was kind to her and had a generous heart and told the reapers to not bother her.  But, to me , his greatest kindness came in verse 16 when he tells his men to “let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her”.  Ruth was just out trying to get enough scraps to keep her and her mother in law from starving.  But Boaz told men not only to let her have the “scraps”, but also to drop some of the good ears of corn for her have.  These “handfuls of purpose” may have seemed to Ruth to be mere accidents and good fortune, but they were the direct result of the kindness of Boaz.

In the Bible, Boaz is a type of Christ.  How many times in our lives has Jesus given us some “handfuls of purpose”?  How often have we needed something; sometimes just a little encouragement?  And how often has the Lord come through with exactly what we need, even though to an outsider it may just seem like a small thing?  An outsider might just think we’ve “gotten lucky”, but we know that it is the Lord giving us another “handful of purpose”.  We should watch for these little blessings from the Lord in our lives and thank Him accordingly.

Why Have I Found Grace In Thy Sight?

Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

Ruth 2:10

As soon as I read this verse, I thought to myself that this should be my prayer.  “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”  What a great and fitting prayer for us.  God has been so good and merciful to us.  The Bible says that “by grace are ye saved through faith”- we have found grace in His eyes.  We have found the abundant and amazing grace of which John Newton wrote about.  We have found the “marvelous grace of our loving Lord”.  We have found “grace that is greater than all our sins”.  We have surely found grace, and none of us is deserving of that grace.  We are, by nature, strangers to God.  We are even by nature the enemies of God.  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” – Ephesians 2:4-5.

When you think about it, why should a holy, almighty God take knowledge of us- vile, sinful men?  Of course the answer is that He loves us- He loves us so much that He gave Himself for us.  We should always live in a state of thanksgiving for His grace and mercy to us.  Like Ruth, that very thought should drive us to fall our faces and bow ourselves to the ground in humble submission to Him!