What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, mother-in-law. Do you think of jokes? How about a woman one who is loved and adored? What about someone you would give up your own family to be with?
When we think of the book of Ruth this is the example of Naomi the one whom Ruth wanted to leave her family for.
Ruth takes place in the period of the judges. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. This is a period of time of the cycle of sin, they would begin to sin, then there would be a period of oppression, and finally they'd cry out to God, and He would send a judge to deliver them. There is light within this time period. Names such as Naomi, Ruth and Boaz shine forth in this dark period of time.
The book begins when Naomi and her husband an sons went to Moab because of the famine in the land.
- Ruth 1
After arriving, Elimelech, Naomi’s husband dies, leaving her alone with her two sons. The culture of the time was that a woman was blessed to have a husband and sons. The two sons, married women of Moab, Orpah, and Ruth. They remained in Moab for ten years.
Before these two women bore children, both the sons of Naomi die. She is alone, having no children or grandchildren. She has no one to take care of her.
So, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Having heard that the famine in Judah had ended. Her two daughters-in-law are with her. They assume they are going to go with her. She told them no, to turn back to their own people.
Ruth decides to stay with Naomi, while Orpah decided to stay with her people. Ruth is a model of faithfulness that we each need to emulate. She is a model of purity.
Boaz is also a man of great character.
- Ruth 2:10-12
He becomes her protector and then, later, her husband.
Ruth was sent into the field of Boaz, by Naomi, to glean as the poor was allowed to do. As, Boaz observes her, knowing her story and how she was with Naomi. Boaz, was aware of her faithfulness to her mother-in-law.
He sees her devotion and that she had come to trust in the Lord God.
- Ruth 3:11
He knew she was a virtuous woman, a woman of great character, and her inner beauty. He decides he will do his duty as a kinsman redeemer to marry her.
What Ruth Gained Through Her Connection with Naomi
Through the influence of Naomi, Ruth came to know the true and living God. Ruth’s commitment to Naomi shows her entire commitment to God. Naomi, means, my delight. She must have truly lived up to that name. Ruth, means friendship, thus they must have truly shared a delightful friendship.
- Ruth 1:15-18
— A New Relationship - “Entreat me not to leave thee…”
— A New Followership - “For wither thou goest I will go…”
— A New Place to Dwell - “where thou lodgest I will lodge.”
— A New People - “Thy people shall be my people…”
— A New Religion - “thy God, my God…”
— A New Destiny - “Where thou diest, will I die….”
That relationship was so important that she didn’t want it to end. she did not want to be separated from her. She was not legally bound to Naomi, yet, she didn’t want to be leave her. She even left her own family in favor of Naomi, her mother-in-law.
- Exodus 19:8
The death of the righteous is not something to be sad about. There is going to be a completely separate destiny. Her destiny would forever be tied to the family of the Israelites. She was the great grandmother of David, and in the genealogy of our Savior, Jesus, the descendant of Ruth.
What Christians Gain Through Their Connection with Jesus!
A New Relationship!
- Ephesians 3:15
- Matthew 12:49-50
- Matthew 19:29
- 1 Timothy 3:15
- 1 John 1:3,7
- Isaiah 59:1-2
- Romans 5:6-8
We leave behind that former life, and are reconciled to God. We have a new relationship.
A New Followership
We become disciples of Jesus. A disciple, according to Vine’s, is a follower.
- John 8:31
- Luke 9:23
- 1 Peter 2:21
- John 15:8
- Luke 19:10
- Mark 16:15-16
- Matthew 28:19-20
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
We are to be followers of Christ
A New Dwelling
We have a new dwelling, a place to lodge with the Savior.
- John 15:5
- Romans 6:4
- Ephesians 1:3
- Romans 8:1-2
All spiritual blessings are in Christ. We have a new dwelling place, a new lodging place.
A New People
We are a new people, a holy nation.
- Philippians 3:20
- 1 John 2:15-16
We are part of the spiritual kingdom, the people of God. We are in the world but not a part of the world. We are a new, speapate people, a holy nation.
A New Religion
A religion of the true living God. True Christians leave behind false religions, and turn to God, the Creator and living God.
- Matthew 15:9
- John 14:1-3
- John 14:6
- Matthew 7:13-14
We have a new religion.
The Dedication of Ruth, No Turning Back!
A New Destiny
All spiritual blessings are in Christ. Thus, everyone who is not in Christ will not have spiritual blessings.
- Ephesians 1:3
- 1 Peter 4:17-18
There is a new destiny for those who are in Christ. Like Ruth, who received a new destiny. She gave up all to find a better life, a better way. We too, should give up all the things in this world which will be burned up, for a new destiny of spiritual blessings in Christ, and a destiny of Heaven.
May we always follow the example of Ruth and be fully dedicated to Christ, and be adopted into and become a child of God.
To become a child of God, we must believe, confess our belief repent of our sins, and put on Christ in baptism to have our sins washed away. All blessings are in Christ Jesus and the thing that puts us into Christ is baptism.