Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ruth: Loss to Legacy

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Week One – Day 4WK01D04

Read Ruth 1:15-18, Proverbs 31:25     SOAP Ruth 1:16-17

Why do you think Orpah returns to Moab instead of following Ruth and Naomi?

15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where 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. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

Proverbs 31:25 (ESV) – 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,  and she laughs at the time to come.

O – What a statement of faith, coming from a woman who had been widowed, and now commits to journeying to a foreign land with her elderly mother-in-law!  There are elements of faith in her declaration:

  • Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. – Here is Ruth’s commitment to Naomi – telling her that she WAS going with her.  Naomi had already asked Ruth to return to her own land, and Ruth had set out on the journey with her.  Even though Orpah returned, Ruth is making the commitment to Naomi.
  • For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.  – Ruth is making the commitment to journey with Naomi, but also to live with her, reside, and make her home with Naomi.
  • Your people shall be my people, – Her declaration gets stronger – here Ruth is declaring an allegiance to the Hebrew people.  She is leaving the Moabite land – and taking on the Hebrew identity.  Where Naomi and Elimelech “sojourned” in Moab, Ruth is identifying and “becoming” Hebrew.
  • and your God my God.  – And stronger! Not only is Ruth committing to Naomi’s land of heritage, but to her God!  This is not only a change in locale, and life style, but a change in heart!
  • Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.  – Ruth’s commitment is so strong that she is willing to be buried in this new land. “The place of a person’s grave in ancient Near Eastern life was very significant. It identified the area he or she considered his or her true home. So when Ruth said she wanted to die and be buried where Naomi was (v. 17) she was voicing her strong commitment to the people, land, and God of Naomi. “ (lumina notes)
  • May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you. – Ruth is making this commitment, calling upon God to hold her accountable to her promise.

A – This quote from Spurgeon resonated with me this morning…. “Ah! You will never win any soul to the right by a compromise with the wrong. It is decision for Christ and his truth that has the greatest power in the family, and the greatest power in the world, too.” (Spurgeon)

It is interesting to note that Ruth did not make an oral declaration of “faith” until Naomi was leaving Moab and returning to Bethlehem.  Why not in the ten years previous?    David Guzik stated:  “Ten years of Naomi’s compromise in Moab never made Ruth confess her allegiance to the God of Israel. Yet as soon as Naomi stood and said, “I’m going back to the God of Israel, I’ll put my fate in His hands” Ruth stood with her. If you think you will persuade your friends or relatives to Jesus by your compromise, you are mistaken. Perhaps you are sincere, but you are mistaken. Only a bold stand for Jesus will really do it. (enduring word)

Study Notes:

Constable’s Notes:  (Lumina)

Ruth concluded that her prospects for loyal love and rest (vv. 8-9) were better if she identified with Israel than if she continued to identify with Moab. She had come to admire Israel’s God, in spite of Naomi’s present lack of faith. Elimelech and his family had evidently earlier fulfilled God’s purpose for His people while living in Moab. They had so represented Yahweh that Ruth felt drawn to Him and now, faced with a decision of loyalty, she chose to trust and obey Him rather than the gods of Moab. Ruth the Moabitess exercised faith, but Naomi the Israelitess lived by sight. Ruth trusted God and obeyed the Mosaic Covenant, but Naomi did not.[43] Ruth was a descendant of Lot who chose to leave the Promised Land because he thought he could do better for himself elsewhere (Gen. 13:11-12). The “cities of the valley” (Gen. 13:12), including Sodom and Gomorrah, lay outside (to the east of) the territory that God originally promised Abram (Gen. 12:7). Later God revealed that He would give Abram’s descendants even more land including the Jordan Valley (Gen. 13:14-15; 15:18; et al.). Ruth now reversed the decision of her ancestor and chose to identify with the promises of Yahweh that centered in the Promised Land.[44] The ancients believed that a deity had power only in the locale occupied by its worshippers. Therefore to leave one’s land (v. 15) meant to separate from one’s god.[45]

The place of a person’s grave in ancient Near Eastern life was very significant (cf. Gen. 23; 25:9-10; 50:1-14, 24-25; Josh. 24:32). It identified the area he or she considered his or her true home. So when Ruth said she wanted to die and be buried where Naomi was (v. 17) she was voicing her strong commitment to the people, land, and God of Naomi (cf. Luke 14:33). Naomi’s life may have influenced Ruth to trust in Naomi’s God.

 

I’m With You (Ruth/Naomi)  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdS8UYBDHsk

Love is a hurricane in a blue sky
I didn’t see it coming, never knew why
All the laughter and the dreams
All the memories in between
Washed away in a steady stream

Love is a hunger; a famine in your soul
I thought I planted beauty, but it would never grow
Now I’m on my hands and knees
Trying to gather up my dreams
Trying to hold on to anything

And we could shake a fist in times like this
When we don’t understand
Or we could just hold hands

You and me, me and you
Where you go, I’ll go too
I’m with you. I’m with you.
Until your heart, finds a home
I won’t let you feel alone
I’m with you. I’m with you.

You do your best to build a higher wall
To keep love safe from any wrecking ball
When the dust has cleared, we will
See the house that Love rebuilds
Guarding beauty that lives here still

You and me, me and you
Where you go, I’ll go too
I’m with you. I’m with you.
Until your heart, finds a home
I won’t let you feel alone
I’m with you. I’m with you.

Who can say I’m left with nothing
When I have all of you, all of you?
In the way you always love me
I remember He does too.

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