The book of Ruth has many insights into a life of faith. When our Bible study group read the first chapter together one evening I was struck by the part that Naomi played in Ruth’s pursuit of knowing God.
Our study leader suggested that we imagine what Ruth might have said about her decision to go with Naomi. What might she have said as a testimony? I thought about her story . . .
As a young woman I was offered an unexpected marriage proposal. A young man, an Israelite, asked me, a Moabite, to be his wife. I had heard stories about Israel and was intrigued. I accepted Mahlon’s proposal. He took me to reside with his family, and I was introduced to their God.
My husband’s mother, Naomi, was good to me. She was a widow and devoted to her sons. As I worked with her making meals and taking care of the home she told me about her God. She told me about the way God had guided her people, sometimes in miraculous ways. I could tell that she missed Israel.
Great tragedy struck us. My husband and his brother became ill and died. His brother’s wife, Orpah, and I were widows now, with no sons or daughters. Naomi was filled with grief and decided that she would go back to Israel. She told Orpah and me to go back to our former homes. We wept because we had grown to love Naomi.
After embracing Naomi Orpah left. But I did not. I wanted to know about the God of Israel. I told Naomi that I would go with her. Her God would be my God. I made a covenant to remain with her for the rest of her life.
This account is an encouragement to live out our faith in loving actions and words. Naomi endured great hardship, but she still was able to convey a message about God to Ruth. What impresses you more, Naomi’s perseverance or Ruth’s openness to learning from Naomi?