All over the world mothers cry as they see their sons married off to their wives. Some mothers rejoice in such unions. Some women are fortunate enough to have amazing relationships with their mother in laws. Some have toxic relationships. Some have tolerable relationships.
Some have conniving mother in laws who would do anything in their power to get their baby back. Some are conniving daughters in law whom will do whatever to keep their husbands from their mothers. Sad circumstance, but they exist. You even have in-laws whom try to turn their in-laws against their own family.
Where am I going with this? Well let’s talk about Ruth for one moment. Who? You may ask, Ruth. A biblical woman from the Old Testament whom has an amazing story. An amazing love story.
Ruth is an amazing woman. Strong, loving, compassionate, respectable and humble. Ruth is a widow from the Bible. The book of Ruth is a love story unlike any other.
Here’s the condensed version to her story.
This story starts off During the time of the Judges when there was a famine. There was an Israelite family from Bethlehem – Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Chilion whom emigrated to the nearby country of Moab.
During this period Elimelech died, and the sons married two Moabite women: Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. A Few years passed and Naomi lost both her sons, whom passed away. All three women were now widows. (Wait you said this was a love story, but all I see is three deaths and three widows..I’ll get there.)
After the death of her sons Naomi decided to go back home to her family. Be with her people. She was up in age and felt she would not be able to remarry. Orpah and Ruth followed her as she commence this journey home.
As they commenced their journey Naomi turned to the two widows along side her and asked them to let her travel alone, they are young, can remarry, start a family, move on with life. Both Orpah and Ruth had a choice. Follow this woman Naomi, mother of their deceased spouses, or go back home to their families, to seek refuge and start a new life.
Orpah took heed of this advice, turned around and went back home. Ruth stood her ground and was determined to accompany her mother in law no matter where she went. She insisted in adopting Naomi’s customs and God as her own as well. So the Moabite women Ruth continued on this journey with Naomi her mother in law to Bethlehem.
“But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back 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”(Ruth 1:16).
Where’s the love story?
Did you not see it? The love she had for her mother in law is a love story like no other. She followed Naomi.
In Chapter 2 we see Ruth gleaning in the fields of Naomi’s relative Boaz. Boaz out of compassion and obedience to the law allows Ruth to glean but also leaves extra grain for her purposely.
In chapter 3, Naomi encourages Ruth to seek marriage with Boaz as a kinsman redeemer. Ruth obeys Naomi and asks for her rights and Boaz agrees but mentions that he must first be sure there are no others with first rights.
Chapter 4 Boaz and Ruth are married and Ruth conceives a son named Obed, the grandfather of the great King David, in the lineage of Christ our Messiah.
The purpose in this book is to demonstrate the kind of love, and faithfulness that God desires for us. It shows the difference between what happens when a nation does not follow in obedience to the covenant of God (Judges), and when God’s people follow in faithfulness within the covenant (Ruth).
During the times of judges there was famine. Famine was brought out because of the nations lack of love for God and respecting the covenant with God. Their lack of faith, straying from faith and lack of following the covenant of God is what led the famine. Ruth’s obedience, love for her mother in law, her renewed faith of the God of Naomi, her faithfulness and covenant with God, her love for God led her to not only be allowed to marry Boaz, but this union is part of the genealogy of Christ the messiah himself.
This is a love story unlike any other.
Can you love like Ruth?
Can you love your mother in law like Ruth?
Can you love God & trust in him to provide for you in unknown, unfamiliar land?
Can you leave your relatives and past to travel to unknown territories and take up your in laws family, land and customs as your own?
Can you follow God, put trust and faith in God as Ruth did?
I personally don’t know if I could be like Ruth, maybe under better circumstances. Maybe if I had a Naomi in my life. Maybe if we all had a Naomi in our lives we would aspire to be like Ruth and not like Orpah. Honestly if something were to happen now, I would be an Orpah. I would turn around and seek refuge at home with my family. No I am not saying my inlaw is horrendous. I do not know how or what the future may hold without my husband in it. I do not know the expectations. I do not know if I will have the support I need for my children. So I probably would be like Orpah and seek refuge home. I am not saying our relationship is bad, just as with anything else it could be better. With everything else and every other aspect in our lives, we could always work to improve. We are human and not perfect.
We all have different stories different paths. We can aspire to have faith like the greatest examples we have in the Bible. Our destinies vary. The amount of faith we have varies from person to person.
We may not all be Ruth’s, we may not all be Naomi’s, we may not all be Orpah’s but we should all Love wholeheartedly regardless.
Father God I thank you for another morning, another day, another hour with my loved ones. I am blessed for I have my family, my husband, my children, our parents, our siblings and those near and dear to us. God I would love to be more like Ruth. To be able to love the way she has. God I ask for guidance, for compassion. I thank you that despite this love story, we also see where having faith in you can overcome any obstacle. Ruth lost her husband, yet gained another mother in Naomi. Ruth could have went back home to her family, she had the opportunity before her. Ruth chose to care for her mother whom was widowed and lost it all. I would love to be more like Ruth. I would love a more Naomi and Ruth Like relationship with my in law dear God. As with anything else every aspect of our lives could use improvement. Toady I glorify you because our moms are well. I glorify you because our fathers are well, I glorify you because you continue to provide for us. Amen