For the next four weeks, we’ll be looking at the small book of Ruth. What is it about this woman that still speaks to us today, especially in times of transient love and temporary relationships?
What Does It Mean To Join A Family?
Concern Is Demonstrated – Ruth 1:1-15
- v1-5 setup of the book: Jewish family moves to Moab because of famine; all the men die, women are stuck
- v6-9 Naomi (Mom) decides to move back to Judah, but tells her daughters-in-law to remarry locally and survive
- v10-12 Mom insists they leave her and go back home in Moab to live
- v11-13 Naomi points out that Jewish law will not provide for them; they need to remarry to survive
- v14-15 Orpah agrees and leaves; Ruth will not leave Naomi.
Loyalty Is Declared – Ruth 1:16-18
- v16 Ruth’s declaration of loyalty, part 1:
- going: willingness to join in the unknown
- staying: choosing to build life together
- community: recognition of belonging together
- faith: reverence for religious relationship
- v17 Ruth’s declaration of loyalty, part 2:
- death: lifelong commitment to be shown
- covenant: inclusion of God’s standards
The close of the chapter shows Naomi changing her name to Mara, because she’s bitter about what has happened to her and her family. And yet, by her side is Ruth, willing to live out her days with the family she’s joined, in good times and in hard times. This is our call as well: to show a watching world what faithfulness and loyalty looks like.