Naomi had fallen on hard times. Her husband Elimelech had died, leaving her alone with her two sons. Her sons married...and then they died. Now she had no husband, no sons and was left in the company of her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth.
Naomi thought a change of scenery was in order. When she heard that the Lord had blessed his people by giving them good crops, she and her daughters-in-law set out for Judah.
On the way, Naomi gave them a way out: “Go back home and stay with your mothers. May the Lord be as good to you as you have been to me and to those who have died. And may the Lord make it possible for each of you to marry again and have a home” (Ruth 1:8-9).
At first, they both cried, “No! We will go with you to your people” (Ruth 1:10).
But eventually Orpah relented. She kissed her mother-in-law good-bye and went back home. Not Ruth, though. She held onto Naomi.
Ruth pledged, “Don’t ask me to leave you! Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and that is where I will be buried. May the Lord’s worst punishment come upon me if I let anything but death separate me from you” (Ruth 1:16-17).
When they settled in Judah, Naomi sent Ruth to gather the grain that the harvest workers left behind in the field of a relative of Naomi’s husband. A rich and influential man named Boaz.
Boaz saw what was going on and had the harvest workers leave grain on purpose for Ruth to pick up.
He decided that he had to take care of Ruth and Naomi, so he went through the appropriate channels in order to marry Ruth.
Now, once Ruth had married Boaz, she could have left Naomi. “Well, I’m married now, Naomi. I’m going to go live in a mansion and leave you here in this small, cramped dwelling.”
But she didn’t go back on her pledge to Naomi. She stayed close to Naomi, even though she was married and had a son, Obed.
Imagine what would happen if we were like Ruth. Imagine what it would be like if we were to keep our promises to the bitter end, to be there for people through thick and thin.
God made a promise to us, a covenant vow, that He would send His Son to died for us, that He would raise Him from the dead. He promised that His Son’s death, Jesus’ shed blood, would put us in right-standing with God. He has made us promises throughout His Word to heal us, to deliver us, to protect us, to save us, to redeem us. And when we think that God hasn't fulfill one of them, we get angry.
But what about our pledge to God? When we gave our hearts to God, we gave Him our lives–our spirit, soul and body.
We promised to live for Him, but most of us, live our lives for us. What are we going to do today? What should we eat? What should we wear? We are always thinking about ourselves. Our worlds revolve around me, myself and I.
What if we were to commit ourselves fully to God and what He needs from us? What if we were to dedicate our lives to God, and do what He asks without question?
Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33. “Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”
Ruth care for the widow Naomi, just as God commands us in His Word, and God took care of Ruth’s needs and desires. And if we will take care of our Father’s business, He will take care of ours.