devotionRuth 1:11-18 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters:why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines cleave as:

“To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.”  

Love is not only a display of affection but is an action as well. When we love, we put that love on display through our actions, amen? You can’t love someone and not do anything for that person. It’s our natural desire to show our love through our actions.

Ruth showed that love toward her mother in law in one of the most wonderful ways.  Ruth “adhered” to her mother in law.  She showed her love and devotion by following her wherever she would go.  Ruth was willing to abandon everything she had learned as a child for the sake of her mother in law!  Ruth’s devotion went all the way to Naomi’s faith – Ruth wanted to follow her anywhere!

Would I have done this? In my brain, I would have thought that there were too many “what if’s” to worry about in a situation like that.  After all, how many women do you know would follow their mother in law and not their very own family?  It’s something to think about.  Naomi’s faith left such an impression with Ruth that Ruth wanted to follow her to an unknown place.  Is my faith that evident that others would follow me anywhere?

Ruth’s devotion to her mother in law produced great results.  Sometimes it takes years – even generations – to see those results. But Ruth was rewarded in her lifetime for such devotion and love.  It’s a great lesson for us. What we do now may affect our grandchildren. What we do now may not even show up for hundreds of years.  This was also true in Ruth’s life. Yes, she was blessed with a wonderful husband in Boaz.  But look at how it affected her future!

Mt. 1:5 Booz begat Obed of Ruth.  (Obed was David’s grandfather.)

God rewarded her love and devotion by allowing Christ to come from her Gentile lineage!  Our Saviour chose Ruth!  Wow!

Mt. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Mt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Who would have thought that love and devotion would be rewarded in this manner?  I’m sure this went far and beyond Ruth’s wildest dream!

Think about it … what we produce now, spiritually speaking, not only has an effect on us but also on our families … and years down the road.  We don’t know what will happen but wouldn’t you like to be remembered for being devoted to the Lord in the same manner Ruth was devoted?  It’s never too late to start … jump in with both feet and commit your ways to the Lord.

Psalm 37:5-6 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:11 (KJV)

“For ALL the city of my people doth know that thou art a VIRTUOUS woman.” What a testimony! The account of Ruth is filled with lessons from which we can glean!

Ruth did not start out living for God. Naomi’s testimony must have been such that Ruth learned much from her. When push came to shove, it was this testimony that laid the foundation for David’s future grandmother! (Ruth 1:16-17) Praise the Lord for godly mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, etc.! You just never know who you are influencing to live for the Lord!

Back to our topic 🙂 Here is a woman whose reputation is known all over the city! Wow! That says a lot! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines virtuous as:

1. Morally good; acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, and abstaining from vice; as a virtuous man.

2. Being in conformity to the moral or divine law; as a virtuous action; a virtuous life.

The mere performance of virtuous actions does not denominate an agent virtuous.

3. Chaste; applied to women.

Ruth’s life displayed the relationship that she had with God. It reminds me of Christ’s teaching about the tree that produced good fruit. (Luke 6:43-44) Word got around town that Ruth actually lived her faith. Can those in our town say the same about us? What’s our testimony like? Do our townsfolk even know who we are? Today’s text says that all of the city knew that Ruth was a virtuous woman.

The term “virtuous woman” can only be found three times in the Scriptures. Once in today’s text and two other times in Proverbs:

Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Notice the circumstances that these three references associate with the virtuous woman:

  1. Her testimony is beautiful and known by all
  2. She is a crown to her husband
  3. Her worth is priceless

Ruth’s testimony was such that God used her in Christ’s lineage! I want to be used of God in such a way that I have a similar effect on my children, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren, etc.! Don’t you?

After salvation, I believe the most important thing for a woman is to be in her Bible! (Psalm 119:9) It is God’s word that cleanses us: the Holy Spirit pricks our hearts with conviction – we repent and confess our sins – and the Lord is faithful and cleanses us! (1 John 1:9) I’m not talking about reading my Bible a mere few minutes a day. I cannot be cleansed by the word of God in three minutes. It would be like taking a bath and only washing my arms! Like anything else in life, nothing is worth getting unless it is gotten by hard work. The more I pour myself into the Scriptures, the more of my sinful nature I see. When we are honest with God, He can finally mold us into the vessels of honour He wishes us to be. (2 Timothy 2:21) Purging ourselves from the things and sins of this world is not easy. However, it is doable.

Ruth was a vessel being used by God unto honour. It was evident in her testimony and Boaz knew it. Boaz became her Kinsman Redeemer and honoured her by taking her as his wife! We are blessed to be part of the Bride and one day soon we will be wed to our Groom! In the mean time, sanctifying ourselves (setting ourselves apart) and purifying ourselves is a priority. The word of God convicts us and heeding His word will set us apart. Spend time every day reading God’s word. Not just a few minutes – pull up a comfy chair and commit yourself to reading, desiring to hear from your Heavenly Father! Put into practice what you read, as Ruth did, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to mold you into a vessel unto honour. Becoming a virtuous woman takes work and conviction. Don’t you want to leave your “mark” as Ruth left hers?

And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:11 (KJV)

“For ALL the city of my people doth know that thou art a VIRTUOUS woman.” What a testimony! The account of Ruth is filled with lessons from which we can glean!

Ruth did not start out living for God. Naomi’s testimony must have been such that Ruth learned much from her. When push came to shove, it was this testimony that laid the foundation for David’s future grandmother! (Ruth 1:16-17) Praise the Lord for godly mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, etc.! You just never know who you are influencing to live for the Lord!

Back to our topic 🙂 Here is a woman whose reputation is known all over the city! Wow! That says a lot! Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines virtuous as:

1. Morally good; acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, and abstaining from vice; as a virtuous man.

2. Being in conformity to the moral or divine law; as a virtuous action; a virtuous life.

The mere performance of virtuous actions does not denominate an agent virtuous.

3. Chaste; applied to women.

Ruth’s life displayed the relationship that she had with God. It reminds me of Christ’s teaching about the tree that produced good fruit. (Luke 6:43-44) Word got around town that Ruth actually lived her faith. Can those in our town say the same about us? What’s our testimony like? Do our townsfolk even know who we are? Today’s text says that all of the city knew that Ruth was a virtuous woman.

The term “virtuous woman” can only be found three times in the Scriptures. Once in today’s text and two other times in Proverbs:

Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Notice the circumstances that these three references associate with the virtuous woman:

  1. Her testimony is beautiful and known by all
  2. She is a crown to her husband
  3. Her worth is priceless

Ruth’s testimony was such that God used her in Christ’s lineage! I want to be used of God in such a way that I have a similar effect on my children, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren, etc.! Don’t you?

After salvation, I believe the most important thing for a woman is to be in her Bible! (Psalm 119:9) It is God’s word that cleanses us: the Holy Spirit pricks our hearts with conviction – we repent and confess our sins – and the Lord is faithful and cleanses us! (1 John 1:9) I’m not talking about reading my Bible a mere few minutes a day. I cannot be cleansed by the word of God in three minutes. It would be like taking a bath and only washing my arms! Like anything else in life, nothing is worth getting unless it is gotten by hard work. The more I pour myself into the Scriptures, the more of my sinful nature I see. When we are honest with God, He can finally mold us into the vessels of honour He wishes us to be. (2 Timothy 2:21) Purging ourselves from the things and sins of this world is not easy. However, it is doable.

Ruth was a vessel being used by God unto honour. It was evident in her testimony and Boaz knew it. Boaz became her Kinsman Redeemer and honoured her by taking her as his wife! We are blessed to be part of the Bride and one day soon we will be wed to our Groom! In the mean time, sanctifying ourselves (setting ourselves apart) and purifying ourselves is a priority. The word of God convicts us and heeding His word will set us apart. Spend time every day reading God’s word. Not just a few minutes – pull up a comfy chair and commit yourself to reading, desiring to hear from your Heavenly Father! Put into practice what you read, as Ruth did, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to mold you into a vessel unto honour. Becoming a virtuous woman takes work and conviction. Don’t you want to leave your “mark” as Ruth left hers?

And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. 18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. Ruth 1:14-18 (KJV)

As I read today’s text, it struck me that although Naomi had two daughters-in-law, and both witnessed her devotion to her God, only one of them (Ruth) followed after her. No matter what kind of testimony we hold fast to, sadly not every one of our family members will accept our beliefs.

The condition of the heart of each individual is what lays the foundation. I think of the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 11:13-23) and how the seed (the Gospel) fell on different types of “ground.” The same holds true in today’s text. Rachel and Orpah’s hearts were different. One clung to her religious upbringing while the other was teachable – she was open to truth.

Orpah went back to her people AND to her gods. No matter how much she loved her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:14), it was not enough for her to part from her religious upbringing. Hearts must be like fallowed ground ready to be touched by the seed of the Gospel.

I have so many relatives who are determined to follow after their religion rather than God’s word – they are no different than Orpah. Their religious leaders are taking them straight to Hell and they are blindly following. (Matthew 15:14) They have a responsibility to search the Scriptures themselves but they will only search out what their religious leaders guide them in. (John 5:39) How can learn any truth when the only direction they are being given is full of lies?

Ruth had no idea what was going to happen to her but yet she has observed Naomi’s testimony long enough to know that her God would be there. She did not know that once she got to Bethlehem, her Kinsman Redeemer (Ruth 2:20), her future husband, would be there. But yet she went – what great faith!

As well, Ruth was a very hard worker (Ruth 2:2-3). She cared for her mother-in-law; she could have sat back but she didn’t. Her steadfastness brought grace in the eyes of Boaz (Ruth 2:11-12). Her meekness and humbleness brought her even more blessings (Ruth 2:15-17). What a beautiful depiction of someone with a teachable spirit! She didn’t understand all that was about to happen to her but yet she knew enough to listen to Naomi and follow her instructions. Why? Because Naomi’s God had made Himself real in Naomi’s life and Ruth was tender enough to see it. Her faith in Naomi’s God was great and the Lord blessed her!

We may not be able to win each of our family members. But our testimony is all we have. If their hearts are fallowed ground ready to receive the word of God, the Holy Spirit will use your testimony to plant a seed. Don’t be discouraged! I’m sure it ached Naomi’s heart terribly to see Orpah, in a lost condition, go off into the distance. But what joy came out of her when Ruth accepted her God and He blessed her for it! Stay constant, Christian! Don’t lose ground – someone is watching!