The book of Ruth contains the history of a Jew who went into a far country, and through that Jew’s backsliding a Gentile woman is brought out of the far country into the land of blessing.
Then, through the Gentile woman’s faithfulness the blessing is restored to the Jew.
This is Just a picture of how Jew and Gentile are working together, the one to the other in the divine plan whereby all receive “the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of their salvation.
(V.2) tells us “And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.” Famine drove Naomi and her family to Moab, and the connection of the people kept them there.
In the days of adversity consider”-for adversity will either drive a Christian nearer to God or nearer to the world, “ “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job.13:15).
If faith does not cling to God the flesh will drag us down, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt.26:41).
Did ever, any believer make anything of going to Egypt for help? What did Lot make? or the Prodigal, or Elimelech?
Naomi lost both her husband and two sons because of her journey into Moab.
Those who go to the world for help instead to Jesus are likely to come back like Naomi, a weeping widow, or like the Prodigal, repentant in shameful rags.
Note (v.7)“I will arise.” Naomi heard that the Lord had visited his people, and given them bread, ” and this was gospel to the afflicted wanderer,”And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.” (Mt.20:30).
Naomi believed the tidings, and her faith brought her back. She heard, she believed, she acted. “Faith cometh by hearing.” The Gospel of God is good news from a far country.
It is true. Man has wandered far from God. Yet the Good news has reached the world, that God has visited the people in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” (Jh.1:14).
Oh ! that the weary, weak, broken-hearted wanderers who have heard the good tidings would, like Naomi, “Arise.”
Many have heard this blessed Gospel in the far country of alienation, but how few have believed the report; the majority of people seem content to dwell in Moab, and feed on the husks that the swine do eat.
“She went forth out of the place” (v.7). There cannot be a returning without a separation, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (II. Cor. 6:17).
If Heaven would be gained the world must be shunned; if we would eat at the Father’s table the food of the swine must be forsaken. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon“ (Lk.16:13). Choose whom ye will serve. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him” (I.Jh. 2:15).
“Surely we will return with thee to thou people,”(v.10). This is the language of Ruth and Orpah, and seemingly both alike earnest, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer.17:9)
But those who would follow the way of Jesus Christ will suffer trials, and our mind must be made up to serve him. There are many Orpahs. Many People who suffer adversity and troubles run well for a time, But by and by they forsake the Lord Jesus, like Demas, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed”
Rest, in the Moab of this present evil world, is what rebel man would like, but (Mt.11:28) tells us this “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
“And Naomi said, Why will ye go with me.” (v.11). The motives of every professed disciple must be tested.
No earthly inducement is offered. No worldly promotion can be gained. “I am too old to have an husband. ”
Undying love alone to the Person of Jesus Christ will decline every worldly temptation and we will go forward.
“Behold thy sister has gone back” (v. 15). Why? Was not Bethlehem in her eye ? yes ! but Moab was in her heart. “Remember Lot’s wife.”
There is no neutral standing, it must be either back to your people and your gods, or “thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”
It becomes those who name the Name of Jesus to depart from all iniquity, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (II.Tim.2:19).
There may be mouth profession where there is heart division, and to trust in profession is to lean on a shadow.
In (v.7) Orpah went out; in (v.15) we see her gone back. The going back of one will always prove an additional trial to another; but see how Ruth overcomes the temptation.
She said “Entreat me not to leave thee.” What decision there is in the words and tone of her reply, and why so decided, and why did Naomi cease to try her? Because she was “steadfastly-minded” (v.18).
Note what James said about a double-minded.”A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”(Ja.1:8).
Ruth’s heart was fixed. Would that all the disciples of Jesus were like-minded. She could truly say: “One thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, I press toward the mark for the’ prize of the high calling” (Phil. 3:14). And did she not gain the prize of the high calling of God?