But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Years before the woman named Ruth made the promise we read in our Bible passage today, her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her husband had left Israel and moved to a foreign country called Moab. While they were there, their two sons married two Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. First, Naomi’s husband died, then both her sons.
Now a childless widow, Naomi wanted to return to her home in Israel. She convinced Orpah to go back to her parents, but Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. Why would Ruth leave her home to travel with her mother-in-law to where she had no acquaintances, no family, and no prospects?
Listen to her promise: “Your God will be my God.” When she joined Naomi’s family by marriage, Ruth came to believe in the one true God. Their common faith in the coming Savior motivated Ruth to make this promise, even though it must have hurt to leave her home. Ruth knew that nothing in this world–even the familiar surroundings of her home and family–was worth losing her faith in the one, true God.
The same God Ruth worshiped is our God. He is the one true God. He is the God who came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us from our sins and the eternal death they deserve. When you are tempted to turn from him to other things that are less important, remember what he was willing to do for you. Then you, like Ruth, will be thankful that he is your God.
Dear Lord, I thank you that you are my God. Amen.