This book started at a time when Judges ruled, and this was a time people did what was right in their eyes; few sought God’s face. Now there was a famine, and instead of begging God for rain(remember most times in the old testament, God brought famine as punishment for the people’s disobedience), some moved to the place where rain was evident. Can I remain in something that doesn’t look productive and fertile to me even when I have God’s promises concerning it?
Here was a man named Elimelech married to Naomi; they and their two boys left for Moab in search of bread. Years after, Naomi had lost husband and son and was devasted. Gathering her belongings, she headed back home and her daughters in law followed; even after Ophrah went back, Ruth followed. One striking thing was how Naomi called herself Marah, spoke about how God had deserted her and yet Ruth followed. Ruth 1:11 why would you come with me? vs 13, the lord’s hand has gone out of me. You are still young, full of life and opportunities, so why leave the Moab you know and follow me when I don’t even know what awaits me? I sometimes ask, ‘why do we follow God?’ Love for him? Fear of hell? Desire for great things?…Even when it looks like the world has many things to offer, can I still cling to the lord? Ruth could have said, “I want nothing to do with a God that has left Naomi a widow, childless and bitter” but she followed regardless.
And throughout this book, even though we didn’t see God speak, it was evident that he was working in the pages. Even when Boaz asked about her in chapter 2 vs 5-6, she was called the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. Moab is known as a place of pagans but Ruth had left it to follow Naomi. She didn’t leave because there was famine in her land, but after staying with Naomi, she knew she couldn’t go back. Though Naomi was bitter about her God(Ruth 1:21 since the Lord has opposed me..and afflicted me), not even sounding like someone that has any hope concerning her life, Ruth chose to follow her to serve this God
So what is my excuse for turning away? If a Moabite can see a woman that served God looking bitter and still vowed to serve that same God, why should I move away from God because he doesn’t give me what I want? Why should I give reasons for not serving anymore?
At the end, he showed Naomi that he is indeed concerned about her situation and brought beauty to her dark world, this is what he has promised us, that if we remain in him, brighter days ahead of us
Whenever life throws you reasons to doubt God, take a peek at Ruth