Sitting alone on Sunday morning, waiting for service to finish, I began thinking about my current state. My state of singularity and how content I was in it. I won't get into to much detail, however, I will say I was happy, but I wasn't content and it was this lack of contentment that drove me to read the book of Ruth. That and a friend once said if I ever wanted to learn what type of man I ought to be and what type of woman I ought to look for, I should read Ruth.
So I read, and read, and read. The words jumped out of the page at me. I was highlighting and noting things, circling words I felt were significant, looking into each detail of this tiny 1 page book in the bible. As I was reading it, I had several people walk by, each asking what book I was reading, two of which were pastors who provided me with some insight to blow wind into my sails as I journeyed into what seemed to be a godly disseration on living. The book of Ruth is filled with hidden jewels on godly living. Each chapter carried its weight of significance, and at the end of the book, the names of the characters bound the story in such a way, that it cannot be denied that God truly does have His hand on everything, down to the very name you have been given.
Ruth was the epitome of a godly woman, moreover, a selfless servant. She had no obligation to remain with Naomi, especially after Naomi commanded her to depart and find herself a new husband. Ruth wouldn't have it though, she refused to sell out. Check out what she says in Ruth 1:16-17:
16 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.
17 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.”
That should be our prayer on a daily basis to God. What's cool about it is the parallels it shares with the Lord's template prayer in Matt 6. Check this out:
16 "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn my back from following after you." Essentially, she is asking not to be separated from Naomi. What what does sin do to us? Sin separates us from God. Similar to Matt 6:13 where Jesus says "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." This isn't to say God tempts us, because we know He can't tempt. We are the ones who allow it to rule us (James 1:13-16). She is asking that she never be lead to be separated, just as we should also pray that we never be separated from Him.
16 "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." She is essentially submitted her will to that of Naomi. We ought to do the same with God, submit ourselves to Him and let His will govern our lives. Check out Jesus: Matt 6:10 "Your kingdom come, Your will be done."
I like the way the NLT puts verse 17: "Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
Ruth is willing to follow Naomi to ends of the earth if she has too. She is willing to die wherever Naomi died. Are you willing to die where Christ died? It says in the bible to crucify your flesh. We should all aspire to be this way toward God. The thing is, we already know where He died, and that is on the cross. When we came to the cross for salvation, on it we crucified ourselves Gal 2:20. Now on our daily walk, we should remember daily to crucify the sinful desires of the flesh and walk in the spirit (Gal 5:17-24). To die where He died.
We should all pray the Ruth prayer daily by living it out. Our hearts should never be ruthless, and if they become that way, "May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" The best part about this portion of the verse is that for you and I as christians, death doesn't separate us from God, rather, unites us, face to face.
Ruth is loaded godly insight on how to live. We'll definitely be jumping into the next 3 chapters over the course of the next week or so. In the meantime, read Ruth, and let's all aspire not to be so Ruthless.