While I was waiting for my flight out of Dallas I began reading the book of Ruth. I've always been fascinated with her story. It's a telling of loyalty, faith, and incredible love. She started out with nothing and ended with everything. Truly her reward for faith continues today as she is in the bloodline of Christ.
Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, married a guy named Elimelech. He died and left her with two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Let's start with the meaning of these names...Mahlon is invalid and Chilion is pining. So really we're not off to a good start. These boys marry, one to Orpah and the other to Ruth. Neither of the women are of Israelite descent. Then...the boys die. This leaves Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth without any close male relatives.
We get to my favorite part of chapter one. Naomi decides to return to her people, and The Lord. She tells Ruth and Orpah to return to the land of their mothers and to their gods. Orpah decides to do the easy thing and go home, and I assume to worshipping other gods. BUT Ruth decides to take the narrow road to a place she is unfamiliar with where she has absolutely nothing but her mother-in-law. She knows of this one God and is willing to move even further away from what she knows because of her love for Naomi and even the littlest bit of faith in God.
And it is here that chapter one leaves off. As the book continues we see how Ruth's little bit of faith is used to move mountains.
"And Ruth said, Urge me not to leave you or to turn back 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." (Ruth 1:16 AMP)
--I also want to note the influence Naomi has on Ruth. There's something about her life that Ruth wants to follow. Even though Naomi is bitter, her faith must shine through because Ruth wants to follow this God of hers. Just a little bit of inspiration for how other people see followers of Christ from the outside. How are we showing God's love and faithfulness?