Read Ruth 1:1-18
The Impact of Strong Faith
The book of Ruth records one of the greatest love stories in history, and it begins with the love between a woman named Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth. Naomi’s husband died, then her two sons who had married women of Moab died.
Orpah and Ruth journeyed with their mother-in-law as she set forth to Bethlehem, as was the custom. There was no indication that they would make the entire journey with her; they would have likely stopped at the border of Moab as Naomi continued. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to remain in their homeland and find suitable husbands, as she did not expect to bear any more children herself to raise as husbands for them. She herself would return to her own home in Bethlehem.
One daughter-in-law, Orpah, reluctantly followed Naomi’s wishes. The other, Ruth, clung to her mother-in-law and claimed an allegiance to her. She had no interest in leaving this woman that she had grown to love during her decade-long marriage to her son.
Naomi demonstrates her strong faith in God, praying for His blessings upon her widowed daughters-in-law. “The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:8-9).
The impact Naomi’s faith had upon Ruth is clear as Ruth says, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).
Has your faith influenced anyone as strongly as Naomi’s affected Ruth? What love these two women had for each other! What loyalty Ruth exhibited toward Naomi! Can we develop that type of love and loyalty toward our spiritual family in the church today? Can we “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10), seeking to serve each other and love each other as we serve and love God together?