Ruth
Commentary
Decision-making in every person's life is vitally important. The decision of Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit brought the curse of death upon the human race. The decision of Noah to build an ark led to the salvation of the human race. The decision of David to meet Goliath in battle became a stepping stone to his kingship. The decision of Daniel not to defile himself with the meats from the king's table elevated him as one of the greatest prophets of all time. The decision of Ruth was great when she said to Naomi, "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's decision came at a time when it was hard to make. Her husband was dead. Her brother-in-law was dead. Her father-in-law was dead. Her mother-in-law was alive, but she had changed in attitude from pleasant to bitter. Her sister-in-law was shallow and uncommitted to the purpose and interests of Ruth. Her decision was most difficult because it required drastic changes in her way of life. It demanded that she turn her back upon her own people and journey to a strange land and be identified forever with a strange people. It meant that she would have to pull stakes, leave home and face uncertainties, without husband or family other than Naomi. She would have to adopt a new religion and worship a new God. Upon her death she would have to be buried in a different graveyard away from parents and relatives. Indeed, her decision was hard to make.

But she made it. She counted the cost including the anxieties, the hardships, the sufferings, the strangeness, and the potential disasters. Her decision was for time and eternity. She made the decision in spite of all the hazards and risks. And where there is no risk, there is neither honor nor faith.

Having made the decision, she began immediately to implement it. She traveled with Naomi from Moab toward the land of Judah. Arriving in Bethlehem, She located with Naomi in a strange place. Being destitute and hungry, she went to glean in the barley fields. By divine providence, she was led to the field of Boaz, a wealthy relative of her deceased husband's family. Boaz observed her, was kind to her, gave orders for the workers to find her, give her drink and let handfuls of grain on purpose fall unto her. Boaz fell in love with Ruth and when the harvest was over, he married her.

The book bearing the name of Ruth has within it a plot of hardship and success, of courtship and marriage, of famine and disaster, and of death and horror. The book is well divided into four chapters. Each chapter in successive order could be titled: Decision, Work, Rest, and Reward.

By reason of Ruth's famous decision, "Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God," she became the daughter-in-law of Salmon and Rahab, formerly of Jericho, the mother of Obed, and great grandmother of King David, and ultimately one of the ancestral mothers of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the human race and Ruler of the universe. Thank God for one who can make a decision and carry it out.

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©1978 by R.O.Corvin - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED