Ruth 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.