When the Biblical young woman, Ruth, married into a Jewish family she understood little about their ways, God or religion. This is my supposition; but I base the conjecture on facts. Moabites were shunned by the Israelis. Decades before, Moab wronged the wandering tribes who desired to travel through their land. This set up a national rivalry. Israel was a young nation and were probably not accustomed to travel, especially to Moab.
As a famine devastated the land of Israel, a Judean took his wife and two sons to live temporarily in Moab where there was food. In Moab, the small Jewish family of a mother, father and two sons grew to include two Moabite daughters-in-law. Ruth was one of them. At the end of ten years in Moab, the ranks of the family had diminished. All the men had died.
By this time, Ruth had come to understand the ways of Judaism. She was familiar with the customs and norms of her adopted family. They were attractive and persuasive.
It is understandable that Naomi, now a widow and having limited means, would want to go back home to her home town, Bethlehem. She had family there. They would take care of her.
The Judean famine which propelled her young family to Moab was over. Once again, there was food in Israel. Naomi made the logical decision to go back to her roots. The three widows set out on their journey.
Once in that process, it appears that Naomi had second thoughts about the daughters-in-law going with her. Perhaps out of politeness, Naomi urged and even argued with the two younger women to go back to their Moab homes and their mothers. One turned back. But Ruth made a history-altering decision. She opposed the idea of leaving Naomi against all reason. She would go with Naomi and share in her fate.
Ruth said, “I will go where you go. I will live where you live. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.”
The wonderfully attractive customs of Naomi and her God had drawn Ruth in such a magnetic way that she was willing to leave every thing, even her own security to follow Naomi. The key to Ruth’s decision was her resolution to follow Jehovah. “Your God will be my God.”
The Bible is not a book about religion. It is about God’s relationship with men and women–usually in the context of families. Too often we see the laws. We want to magnify the do’s and don’t’s when God wants relationship.
Moab was a rejected nation. God had told Israel to reject Moab. Yet, God orchestrated circumstances to include Ruth in Jesus’ genealogy. Ruth, a Moabite, was King David’s great-grandmother. Jesus was a direct descendent of David. The hated and rejected Moabite’s have a prominent position in the history of our Lord.
Within the disability community, there is a lot of rejection. Perhaps this is one reason why people who are mentally challenged are often eager to hear about the good news of God’s love for them. Their relationship with the Lord becomes a safe haven for them to grow and mature.
Our Father desires us to know that no matter what our customs or how limited our means and circumstances, He longs for a relationship with us. Customs and finances are fluid. God’s grace never changes. His desire for you to know Him is unchanging and everlasting.