I’m going to start sharing something that may get me into to trouble with some of you women. Hold on tight…and read each post (there will be four) before you tell me I’m crazy! We are going to look at the life of Ruth.

I had a specific reason for choosing this book. Ruth is a wonderful example of a woman who serves, and puts others before herself. I read this book with that specific mindset.

A little background/refresher: Ruth and Orpah are the daughter’s-in-law of the widow Naomi. Famine in the land of Moab. Both of Naomi’s sons die. Naomi decides to go back to her homeland (Bethlehem). She tells Ruth and Orpah to stay with the Moabites, their people, where they will be able to find new husbands and be taken care of.

The first thing I see about Ruth, is that she is loyal.

Ruth 1:14, 16-17 {NKJV}

“{14} Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. … {16} But Ruth said: ‘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.'” (blueletterbible.org)

Ruth thought more of her mother-in-law’s needs than she did her own need for a husband/children/someone to take care of her. Because she would be a foreigner in Bethlehem, there was no guarantee that she would ever again be married, but it seems like that did not even cross her mind when she pleaded with Naomi, begging her not to send her away. Ruth had nothing to gain by going with Naomi, but because of her love and loyalty, she made a journey into the unknown.

The question may be asked, “Was it love and loyalty or fear of change and being without the comfort of those she knows?”

The culture of that time would have said that because Ruth was a Moabite, it would be her duty to stay with her people and find a new husband…like Orpah did. Ruth chose to put that cultural rule aside. I can only speculate, but the opening verses sort of explain her feelings toward Naomi. And her desire to be with her to take care of and comfort her in a strange land.

I often think about my “comfort level” when God tells me to do something. That is what I admire about Ruth. She put that aside and put Naomi’s comfort and wellbeing ahead of her own. In the following chapters, that is exemplified even more, but I don’t want to ruin the suspense for you 🙂 🙂

Did Ruth go with Naomi because she felt obligated?

I would not say that Ruth felt obligated to Naomi. Naomi had shown her who God was (although this can only be assumed by what Ruth “said”) and Ruth wanted to follow Him instead of going back to the pagan religion of Moab. Just part of why she went with Naomi. Not a lot is said about the character of Naomi, but she must have been a good woman for Ruth to want to stay with her, and she was well thought of in Bethlehem as well. The people there were excited when she returned home (1:19)

The favored daughter and her friend return. Good reception for good loyal people.

Thanks to my “fellowship friend” for the questions and comments!

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