"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.'"
Ruth knew Naomi well; for years she had been observing this woman who served the Living God. Naomi was always a good example to Ruth. Inspite of the difficult tests that Naomi faced, Ruth never saw her complain or lose her calm. Instead, Ruth saw that she was always steadfast when faced with pain and resolute when making decisions.
The moment arrived when Ruth had to make her own decision, either to stay with her mother-in-law who had lost everything, or to return to the land of Moab, where she would have to submit to the paganism that her nation practiced. As well as the trials that they had lived through as a family, Ruth had come to know Naomi’s God. Although Naomi insisted that Ruth should return to her own country, Ruth remained firm in her decision to stay at Naomi’s side. She did not want to lose such a precious friendship, or the privilege of being part of the people of God.
Naomi had determined to bear her adversity and affliction herself, without having to involve her daughters-in-law, because rationally she could not see a future for them with her. This is why she tried to encourage them to rebuild their lives in their own land, where she thought they would have more opportunities.
Naomi’s life had suffered a great change and things were no longer as they were at the beginning. After ten years of sharing her life with her daughter-in-laws she felt that she no longer had anything to offer them. She had no husband, no children, and no material possessions. For this reason, she asked them to stay in their land. Orpah chose to stay in Moab, while Ruth reacted in a different way. Naomi’s life had made an impact on her because she had seen her steadfastness through the difficult times. Although she had no more sons to offer her, Ruth understood, and still wanted to stay at her side. Ruth wanted to be like Naomi. She desired to go wherever Naomi went, live as she did, be part of the people to which she belonged, and worship the God that she worshipped.
The choice that Ruth made was made with great conviction. More than just words, she acted according to what was already in her heart. Faithfulness does not consist merely of actions, and it cannot be imposed. Being faithful is a decision that is born according to what is found deep in our hearts. There are crucial moments in life that permit us to be tested and tried in order to see whether we will be proved faithful or not. Ruth was found faithful and God rewarded her with abundant blessings. He even gave her a new family, something she never expected to have again.
Faithfulness is a decision, just like the decision Ruth made when she asked God to bring judgment over her life if she ever broke her promise to Naomi (Ruth 1:17).
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
I found myself in Tokyo giving a conference to pastors and leaders. The interpreter I had was fluent in both languages. However, while I was teaching I felt in my spirit that this man was not communicating everything that I was saying. When I said something that wasn’t at all funny, the people would laugh. Likewise, when I tried to say something funny, they remained serious. I thought at first I was just imagining this. However, the next day the same thing happened. I had to stop the message and speak to this brother. I told him, “The role of an interpreter is to deny oneself and become the voice of the one who is speaking.” I reminded him that Jesus has been the most faithful interpreter, because He died to Himself in order to be able to give the pure message of the Heavenly Father. The man understood, asked me for forgiveness, and I could tell that from then on he interpreted the message properly.
"I have determined to stay faithful to the Lord and His Word and in doing these things, there will be protection for my life and my family."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume One.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: Numbers 18-20; Psalms 55
- New Testament: Matthew 23:25-39; Romans 6:1-14