In Ruth 1:8-17, we find another incredible story of God’s Divine provision:
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.
15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
The Book of Ruth, a rather short and compact book with its eighty-five (85) verses, is one of the most powerful love story ever told. It is a story crisscrossed by unbridled loyalty and friendship and sticking with your family even in the worst of times. It teaches us that if you are willing to love, you must be willing to sacrifice.
Right here in our text, we are immediately immersed and captured “in medias res”. As we read the story, we can find glimpses of God’s divine provision on those who are homeless, hungry, and lonely, and a Redeemer that one day would come perfectly on time. Just like Naomi and Ruth, we were, at a certain point in time, homeless, hungry, and lonely, until God had mercy on us and we encounter the Redeemer.
If you seldom read this part of the Old Testament, Ruth is actually a Moabites – she is from Moab, a Gentile nation that God has commanded the Israelites not to have any friendship or treaty.
But what really stands out is the fact that our text is a sublime foreshadowing that someday God will have compassion on the Gentiles and just like the Jews God will also show His unconditional love towards them and bless them, in accordance to God’s promise through Abraham (cf:Genesis 12:3 and Genesis 22:18).
Ruth is a forceful woman of God. She is also a woman of incredible faith as we can see in verse 16. Although she had not known God, yet she believed and had faith – something that blows my mind away. As we can see, her faith was rewarded (God always rewards faith, specially incredible faith) and she became the great, great, grandmother of King David – the man after God’s own heart. Now that’s amazing, isn’t it?
Years later King Solomon, her great, great, great, grandson built the LORD’s temple signifying the fact that Solomon actually went into the presence of the LORD, notwithstanding the prohibition in Deuteronomy 23:3.
May the story of Naomi and Ruth inspire us, as they walked towards Bethlehem. As we continue to walk in our faith, let us remember that God’s divine provision is always available and is always on time and is always more than we can think or imagine. Today, if we lose hope, God will remind us that His plans are better than our dreams.