Day 8 – Ruth 1:14-22

So far, the story has been about Naomi. Today, we get to know Ruth. She has a choice to make. Orpah, her fellow sister-in-law, is persuaded to go home to her parents and hope for another husband. Orpah loved Naomi, but she saw the wisdom in what her mother-in-law said and went home. Ruth, on the other hand, was not deterred by anything Naomi said to her. She had a mind absolutely set on leaving Moab. Her choice to be identified with her husband’s family was resolute. Nothing Naomi could say or do was going to sway her. And this brings us to the most famous verses in the book of Ruth.

It’s a favorite passage of brides and grooms. Have you ever heard it read at a wedding? I have. Several times. In this section of scripture Ruth speaks with determination to Naomi and refuses to stay in Moab. She makes a series of vows. These vows are huge and commit Ruth for life. She will live where Naomi lives. She chooses Naomi’s God as her very own. And she will stick with Naomi until death and burial. Now stop and think about this. Ruth is not a bride speaking to her husband. She’s a young widow promising to stick by her mother-in-law … forever. As we watch the story unfold, Ruth does exactly what she said she would do. No wonder God chose this beautiful woman to be in the line of Christ! Like Rahab, the prostitute in Jericho, Ruth chooses the Jewish God – the one true God – and life in the country where that God was worshiped.  Wow. God has His eye on all people, even back in the day when His focus was Israel. The Rahab’s and Ruth’s do not go unnoticed.

Back to Naomi. After Ruth’s impassioned speech and vows, Naomi accepts that Ruth is coming with her no matter what and off they go. When they arrive in Bethlehem, Naomi is quick to tell her friends this is not a happy homecoming. She left “full” and she has come back “empty.” God has allowed great sorrow and grief in her life. I wonder what the neighbors thought of these two unlikely companions. What was Ruth, a Moabitess of all things, doing here in Bethlehem? Would she ensnare their young men? What should they do for Naomi? They were just over a famine themselves and had hardly enough to feed themselves. How “nice” did they have to be to this destitute woman? It might have felt rather awkward welcoming her home, when she had lost everything. People don’t know what to say in the face of grief. Hopefully, her neighbors did what they could for Naomi and her beloved Ruth. But the women still were without income. And that’s where we leave them, today.

What verse stood out to you in this passage? Did it surprise you that Ruth’s commitment to Naomi was so strong she would leave her own country and chances for another marriage behind her? Did you admire her strength of character like I did? Can’t wait to read your comments.

My verse: Ruth 1:21 “I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty as sent such tragedy upon me?”

My response: The cry of a broken-hearted woman sharing her grief with her old friends and neighbors. I’m not who I was, Naomi cries. I’ve had terrible grief and it has changed me. Her honesty here is beautiful. She openly grieved. She still acknowledged You, Lord, but she also spoke the truth. You had made her sad with what you had allowed. Lord, when I enter into times of grief, help me to not avoid the pain and stuff it down where it festers. Help to grieve honestly, but with You. Always with You.


2 Comments. Leave new

  • Candie Remick
    May 8, 2022 5:37 pm

    My verse is 16 NLT
    But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.
    Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live.
    Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. ”

    I think it is wonderful that Ruth loved and was so devoted
    to her mother-in-law. I think Ruth was determined to
    protect Naomi, knowing that she had no one else to,
    after losing her husband and two sons.
    Father, help me to show this kind of love and care to
    others, especially those who are not family. In Jesus’
    name. Amen

    • Sharon Gamble
      May 8, 2022 11:20 pm

      Ruth was so selfless, wasn’t she? Concerned for Naomi and that long walk back to Israel on her own … and Ruth also loved the one true God. She’s such an amazing example to us all. I agree. And I agree with your prayer as well, Candie. Amen.


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