Well, we’re now in Week 8 (I think?) of the Word Wednesday Challenge. Ruth is a relatively short book, but it is such a beautiful story of faithfulness and of God’s love for us. Read it through–won’t take you long–and notice how tender and protective Boaz is. To a romance writer, he’s downright sigh-worthy. But, on to my favorite verse(s) from Ruth:
Ruth 1:14b-17–Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 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. 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.”
Naomi has lost her husband and her sons. As far as she is concerned, she has lost everything, and she tells everyone to call her Mara (which means bitter) instead of Naomi (which means pleasant). Naomi bases her entire identity on her suffering. (Hm. That would make an interesting blog post…) She even tells her daughters-in-law to leave her and go back to their people, because she has nothing to give them. I honestly think Naomi wanted to wallow in a pity party and to show everyone that she truly had nothing left.
Orpah takes off for her family, but Ruth stays. In fact, Ruth swears to stay with Naomi until the very end. This is no offhand vow she makes. Ruth essentially places her life on the line for her mother-in-law. I find it wonderful that, just when Naomi thinks she has lost everything, she finds out she still has someone who will lay down everything for her.
Isn’t Jesus just like that? When we are stripped of all that we hold dear, when we feel like we can’t take another blow, when it seems we are completely and utterly alone in the world… there is Jesus. There is the One who laid down everything for us. There is never an “alone.” When we sink to the bottom, if we’ll just look up, we’ll find we have more than we ever dreamed.
Care to share your favorite Ruth verse or discuss the one above? Leave a comment and join the conversation. If you’re blogging along with me, leave a link in the comments and give a link back here. I’d love to hear what you have to say.