Read: Ruth 1:1-18
The story of Ruth was one filled with hardship, grief and difficult choices. She was widowed at a relatively young age. Her mother-in-law, also a widow, was grief stricken and bitter over the loss of her husband and sons. When Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, both daughters-in-law set out with her. In midst of the journey, Naomi emphatically urged these young women to return to their homes and find new husbands. Orpah returned but Ruth did not.
Ruth demonstrated a life of faithfulness. When presented with an opportunity to walk away from the relationship, she chose to remain. Her love for Naomi indicated a high level of commitment that would eventually permeate her life as a wife and mother.
However, Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi meant a great deal of personal sacrifice. She assumed the responsibility of caring for Naomi. She rejected her family, religion, and life in Moab. She had to embrace a new people who may not have accepted her. Most important, she sought to follow the one true God. As she accepted this commitment, Ruth made a vow before God and Naomi to care for Naomi until death separated them.
When God calls us, He expects us to live a life fully devoted to Him, which often means leaving behind all that is familiar and comfortable. We know that God remains faithful, but the challenge is for us to do so in return.
PRAYER PROMPT: O Lord, help us remain steadfast. Please forgive us when we stray. Amen.
Kevin Carrothers serves as director of missions for Salem South Baptist Association and is concluding his second one-year term as IBSA President.