Ruth 1:16-18 (NIV)
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
The Bible says that adoption is a special thing because it is not reversible. In fact, God adopts us as sons and daughters when we accept Him into our hearts. It is usual for parents to adopt children but it can be the other way around. There is also the concept of adopting new ideas or a way of life. That is what Ruth did here. She adopted a new way of life. Her marriage into Naomi’s family exposed her to a new way of life and taught her about the Living God. She was not willing to give that up. She faced uncertainty and great obstacles in a return to Bethlehem. While it was Naomi’s home, Ruth would be an outsider; a foreign woman and could be ostracized. It was not a bright future but she had faith in the God of Naomi!
In the story, Naomi was trying to convince Ruth and Orpah to return to their family homes as she returned to Bethlehem. Orpah thought it made sense, kissed Naomi goodbye and left. Ruth seemed to have too much invested. Ruth wanted to be a part of the people of the Living God. She wanted to adopt the ways of Israel and live with God through Naomi’s people.
On Friday, I got to attend an adoption proceeding for a friend’s family. They were adding a son to their family. I had been through this when we adopted Clayton. A representative of the State of New Jersey asked my friends, the adopting parents, many questions about themselves, their family and the young man being adopted. She did not leave things to chance and did not operate by faith. His future had to be protected. Ruth did not have all the facts. Her future was uncertain. Yet she believed that the future would be good because she knew the God of Israel was a good God who would take care of her. How about you? Do you believe God has a good plan for you? Do you trust Him and His plan for you? Would you be willing to travel to another country where you knew no one? We can learn much from Ruth. She was willing to risk it all on the good reputation of the God of Israel. He had done miraculous things for His people and continues to this day. You can trust Him! Ruth did! And for her faith, the Lord God gave her Obed who had Jesse who had David who would be the best king of Israel. And from David’s line, came Jesus, the Christ. What if Ruth had not gone with Naomi? But, praise God, she went. In fact, her God is our God! We have her example to follow.
Lord God, thank You that You are our God too! Thank you that you made a way for us to follow. Through Ruth and her faith, you made the way for our redemption. You are a good God with a good plan. Help us to live out the plan you have for us. In Jesus name we pray!