Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Lately Ruth and Naomi have been on my mind.

It's a beautiful Old Testament story. (You can read a synopsis here, or go here for the whole text.) I love Ruth's speech when Naomi tries to get her to take save herself, and go back to her family to marry again: “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. 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.”

Makes me wonder what Ruth's childhood was like, that she would rather remain destitute with Naomi than go back to where she came from. But she stayed, and together she and Naomi relied on the provisions made by God through the levitical law to care for them. You could even say they hatched a scheme (it really was a little scandalous). Either way, it all worked out. And in the end, Ruth was a part of the lineage of Christ.

One commentary noted that it's the story of God's providence in ordinary ways. No pillars of fire, no miraculous signs. Just ordinary lives, characterized by love and devotion, to God and to each other. Naomi and Ruth may have prayed, but they didn't have to wonder what God wanted them to do. They knew. Stick together, live out what has already been put in place by God. The rest will come together. Their lives were full of hope and redemption as a result.


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