Today I start another life journey....this time with Ruth.This book of the Bible has been by far the most impacting book in my life. Last night I lay down thinking about her life...etc..and now I write them down.
Ruth's Background:Ruth is a Moabite. Moabites are people from Moab. Moab was a generation that came out of Lot through disobedience and evil. Lot's daughters got him drunk and they each lay down with him to have children. "36So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab.[b] He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites. 38When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi.[c] He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites." Genesis 19:36-38. Here's what happened some time after all this "Deuteronomy 23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. " So we see Ruth from a background, which came out of evil, she probably had not known the God of the Israelites who was jealous for His people. Now Elimelech with his wife Naomi sojourns (goes to another country for a short while) to Moab. They had sons Mahlon and Chilion who were married to Ruth and Orpah respectively.
Naomi's husband is dead, Ruth's husband is dead so also is Orpah's husband. There are no more members in their family. Naomi had nothing to give to her daughters and she asks them to leave her and go back to their own country as she plans to return to Bethlehem. Orpah returns but Ruth clings on to Naomi-"16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." (Ruth 1:16-17).
I wondered, why would Ruth not want to go back and remain in Moab. She sounds so desperate to go with Naomi, that the only way she wishes to part her mother-in-law is through death. Now this woman was desperate to get out of all the situation she was in. She wanted out of everything, Moab was about. She wanted out...desperately.
What was it that interested her to come out? "6 When she(Naomi) heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there." (Ruth 1:6). Naomi wanted to return because she heard of the way God had come down to help His people. Ruth might have wondered wow I never knew of a God who helped His people like that, since her forefathers (the Moabites) wouldn't have seen God work in the way He worked for the Israelites. Ruth wanted what they(Israelites) had.
Did she make the right choice? Would God accept her? Would the people accept her? What would happen? She's a Moabite after all and there is a whole horrid past that she's running from. Moab didn't have anything to offer to her, only all the evil there is, only fleshly lusts, only being harassed by evil men and women. She knew that Moab was only a cycle of evil, with no way out. In Naomi she found something that gave her some hope, something that could change her life. Something that could make meaning out of her senseless and meaning less life in Moab......
Yes she did-I am soooooooooo glad to say that she did find meaning when she went into Bethlehem(house of bread) in Judah(house of praise) of Ephratha(fruitful), to hand her life to God, to submit to a God she had not known, only heard. Do you know what happens with such kind of surrendered life? A life, which cares not of what will happen to it, if it surrenders itself to a Living God.A life which does not know what will happen tomorrow. A life willing to face criticism from people who have tried to believe (in their own strength) and failed. A life ready to face any challenge that comes on, just for following a Living God. A life even given over to the point of death being the sole thing to part it from God. Ruth wanted such a life.
What did she get out of all this she was willing to die for?
Her name in the geneology of Jesus Christ Himself" 5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. ........16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."(Matthew 1). She got be Jesus our Lord's, great great great great...grand mom. What a wonderful blessing!!!
Also, as I know now, she had such a beautiful life after that decision, that it was worth being recorded in the list of books, the Bible, a life lesson book named Ruth.
Lesson: No matter what background, or past we're carrying. No matter how daunting or taunting or haunting our past life has been, when that life, is surrendered to the point of totality in the hands of a Living God, God can impact a whole world with that kind of life. Not only in that person's lifetime but in lifetimes to come. Generations that would never see that person will be impacted. Such lives, impact way beyond their lifetime. Now the question is for us who live now. There are many people trying to prove God as all that He is not. In this time, can we dare to stand up like Ruth did and trust God no matter what and let our lives in God's hand be a tool?