December 6 Sermon Excerpt

For Ruth there was nothing in Moab for her anymore.  What about you?  Are you still holding on to Moab?

I love this quote by Iain Campbell, “Orpah had emotions without depth.  Ruth had emotions that welled up from the depth of her commitment to God.”  Ruth was completely committed to Naomi and completely committed as well to her God.  Yes, this Moabite woman, this non-Israelite was changed by God’s grace.

So somewhere along the way even with their disobedience, either her husband or her mother-in-law Naomi shared with Ruth the truth of the one true God…because she became a believer.  Listen again to Ruth’s response to Naomi, who tried to send her back to Moab: Do not urge me to leave you or to return 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.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried (1:16–17).  

At some point during her marriage, Ruth began a relationship with the Lord and behind her commitment to Naomi is a commitment to God.  And in so many respects this would have been unheard of, Moabites didn’t follow God they followed many gods and many idols. A Moabite was always a Moabite, you didn’t just shake off your identity in that day, but for Ruth she clung to Naomi, yes, because she loved her, but even more because of her love for God.

Ruth made a clear and decisive change in her life.  When she left Moab, she left behind everything that she’d ever known, her family, her friends and the comfort of her homeland.  She left what was old and life-taking for what was new and life-giving.

Do you see the parallels?  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Or this… But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved…(Ephesians 2:4-5).  Have you been made new?  Are you alive in Christ?

Ruth left everything to follow God.  She was willing, actually quite willing to give up everything that she’d ever known to truly follow God.