Ruth 1:16 – 17 “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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
Have you ever thought about the fact that Orpah shed just as many tears as Ruth? Orpah had an emotional experience, and so did Ruth. The difference between these two women is that Ruth backed up her feelings with action. Orpah cried, but she returned to her former way of life.
I have been in ministry for nearly two decades, now. During that time, I have witnessed a lot of emotional experiences. The test of whether or not one’s decision to follow Christ is sincere isn’t found in the number of tears shed. It is found in the evidence of a changed life.
Ruth’s decision was steadfast. She had married into Naomi’s family, a Jewish family, and she had taken her marriage vows seriously. She was no longer a Moabite, but a Jew. She had pledged allegiance to the one true God, and had experienced the freedom that came from that relationship. She had cast aside her idols, her pagan heritage, her former way of life. She had no desire to return to it, for it had nothing to offer her.
She spoke to Naomi. But her pledge was to God. She would follow Naomi, for Naomi would lead her to the promised land. She would stay with Naomi, because Naomi symbolized her relationship with God. She had grown up in a pagan, hopeless culture, and now she had found hope in a God who loved her, who wanted the best for her, who had good things in store for her. She knew she was unworthy, but she wanted what Naomi had. She wanted it desperately.
She wanted God so desperately that she clung to the only person she knew who could lead her to Him. She left everything behind – every familiar person, place and experience – and vowed to never look back. And she never did. And because of that steadfast decision to follow the one, true God, she was blessed beyond measure.
Dear Father, I want my actions to always reflect my decision to live for You. I love You.