I’ve read through the book of Ruth recently, meditating on the whole theme of the book. I have come to realize this is a book about choices. It is a beautiful book of love that is ironically set in a time of very little love. Unless you include the love that people had to do whatever was right in their own eyes (See Judges 21:25). It was the time when the judges of Israel lead the people. However, war, idolatry, and immorality rampantly defined the culture. The story found in Ruth tells of the heartwarming love that the young widow had for her mother in law, Naomi. It is a story of devotion, faithfulness, and choices.
The book of Ruth demonstrates to us how God rewards those who make wise choices that bring Him honor. It helps us see that making a wise spiritual choice is always the right decision to make, over any other options we may have. It is a short book with only four chapters (it might take you ten minutes to read) but fills the heart with warm emotions of loyalty and faithfulness.
Throughout the book, we see choices that were made that impacted real lives. From the very beginning, choices are made. Naomi’s husband Elimelech, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, made a choice to leave their native land and sojourn in Moab. This choice leads to consequences for everyone. Elimelech dies; her two sons take wives from the Moabites, and then her two sons die. Naomi is left alone with her daughters in law. Naomi makes a choice to return home and tries to persuade her daughters in law, Ruth, and Orpah, to stay there and not go with her. Orpah chooses to stay, and Ruth decides to travel with Naomi. Ruth’s choice is to go wherever Naomi goes, to live wherever she lives, to make whoever is Naomi’s people her people, make the God of Naomi her God, to die, and be buried wherever Naomi is buried. This choice makes Ruth a proselyte to Judaism (See Ruth 1:15-18). This choice turns out to be a life-changing choice for her. Ruth eventually becomes the wife of Boaz, and they have a son named Obed. Obed has a son named Jesse, and Jesse has a son named David, as in King David. Then generations later, a man named Joseph is betrothed to Mary, and she has a son while still a virgin named Jesus (See Matthew 1:1-16).
Choices are not always between what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes it might be between what is good and what is even better. When faced with a choice, we have to decide that whatever the outcome, we will follow God. That is the right choice, and when we make that choice, lives are changed forever!
Make good choices today!