She Stayed

from the Ruth reading plan

Ruth 1:6-18, Hosea 2:18-23

I think most of us have asked at some time, “What is God’s will for my life?” Quite often the advice I have received sounded like this: “Do what brings you joy,” or, “If God has opened a door of opportunity, walk through it.” But rarely has anyone said to me: “Embrace the path that is full of struggle, grief, and loss.” Yet the life of faith is often just such a path.

For Ruth, every external indicator beckoned her to return home. Even her dear mother-in-law, Naomi, pleaded with Ruth and Orpah, “Turn back!” Why, then, did Ruth stay? She was going to a land she did not know. She was leaving everything familiar—her own land, her sister, and her family.

Naomi’s insistence clarifies the nature of Ruth’s decision. Ruth did not follow in hopes of personal gain. Naomi told her she could offer no luxurious living, no hopes of a new husband. She offered poverty, loss, and bitterness (Ruth 1:12-13). Yet Ruth took the path of greatest resistance because she had in view gains that were more than earthly. Ruth’s famous declaration, “Your people will be my people,” was rooted in her oath, “Your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

This was not merely a human promise to follow Naomi, but a covenant vow to serve the God of Israel. Ruth remained with Naomi because her affections were set upon Naomi’s Lord, even though her decision might mean a life of hardship.

Where do you set your affections? Do you look for God’s guidance only in the promises of earthly success? Do you make this world’s luxuries the measure of God’s will? Too often, our hearts are fickle, valuing Christ only when our faith serves our desires. But when tribulation or persecutions arise, do we fall away?

God the Gardener promises that even in the desolate places, He brings forth life. Though He leads us into the wilderness, there He will speak tenderly to us (Hosea 2:14). Indeed, in that day, even the earth shall answer, even the grain, even the wine and the oil. The desert and the parched land will be glad, and we will lie down in safety (Isaiah 35:1; Hosea 2:18).

May we hold fast to Christ, forsaking all worldly affections, that we may see the eternal harvest and gain those profits which will last forever.

Written By Caleb Faires

Post Comments (16)

16 thoughts on "She Stayed"

  1. Roger Jackson says:

    That his will is the good and the heartache, suffering. We can’t just be faithful to home for the good things we have to be faithful through the hard times.

  2. Austin Massey says:

    We are so easily drawn to the path of least resistance, the directions and decisions that set us up to succeed…at least in our worldly understanding of success.
    How little faith and trust we have in our savior God at times.

  3. Austin Massey says:

    As we forego worldly gains and labels and jobs and our own desires and aspirations and pursue the Lord’s will, knowing things may be hard and full of trials, God still wants all that’s best for us and knows our hearts better than we do and He leads us exactly where we need to be and gives us everything our hearts desire, whether we knew what that was or not!

  4. Austin Massey says:

    Take Christ’s life and death for instance. At first glance, the Father is sending his son ONLY to die… let that sink in.

    But Jesus’ death meant LIFE for every other person from that moment on and allowed people to fully see God’s love and purposes for the world.

    If we are fully seeking the Father and His kingdom and then for a split-second take our eyes off of Him and set them on our situation or our surroundings, it’s easy to be filled with fear, frustration, doubt, pride, and all kinds of other things that the Lord does not give.

    But we can find strength and hope in Christ’s example and know that as we continue to keep our eyes on God and his purposes that what He is producing in us and through us is so much greater, more fulfilling than what we could imagine for our lives, and produces more fruit in us and the people we have an influence on than would be revealed if we had just sought out the path of least resistance or just gone with what we needed to do to just get by.

  5. Austin Massey says:

    I will respond by not just pursuing the path of least resistance. In actuality, it may be the path of MOST resistance…resistance to fruit of the spirit and intimacy with the Father’s heart.

    I know that just becomes a certain situation or season in life may seem to be filled with blessing or goodness or comfort or advancement or promotion does not mean though I am living in disobedience to the Father. I know he wants to give good gifts to His children! But I want to seek the GIVER and not the GIFT!

  6. Austin Massey says:

    Lord help me to keep my eyes fixed on you, the plans you have for my life, and the purposes you are fulfilling in me and through me, and not on the situations I find myself in or any one particular gift, position, or bi-product(fruit)

  7. Sean Thelen says:

    God rewards those who love Him. His will is for us to give up our lives so we might receive the life that He has for us.

  8. Sean Thelen says:

    We are prone to do what is easy and what everyone else would do. We tend to look ahead and plan according to our own needs. We seek a secure future based on what we predict what will happen.

  9. Sean Thelen says:

    The Gospel offers a much better life than the alternative. The Gospel offers us a hard life, but a life that also offers more blessings than we could ever ask or imagine.

  10. Sean Thelen says:

    I will respond by acting as Ruth and not as Orpah. I will choose God and the poor rather than other gods and the rich. I will choose to see the people who need my help and not the people who can help me.

  11. Sean Thelen says:

    As I am reading this story, I’m specifically thinking of my wife whom I should be helping. I will ask the Lord to bless her. I will ask the Lord to show me how He sees her. I will choose to put the Lord and my wife at the forefront of all my thoughts and actions, and I will pray accordingly.

  12. Zac Hawkins says:

    It teaches me that man doesn’t always like to embrace the hard outcome that requires some work and faith. But instead we choose the path that requires less attention and less motivation. Which is usually the path of “the world”. Ruth though shows us that we are rewarded and that good things come through our hardships if we remain faithful and loyal to him.

  13. Zac Hawkins says:

    It isn’t always easy to follow the gospel. But if we do we are rewarded like no other. And we can use our past hardships to help someone else overcome there’s in time.

  14. Zac Hawkins says:

    We should embrace our struggles, because through the struggles in our life we find Christ and that with him we can also overcome the battle that we are facing. And therefore we gain a closer spiritual relationship with him.

  15. Zac Hawkins says:

    I will look at both roads to a problem and decide wich one will help get me to a closer spiritual connection with Christ. And ultimately help me further his kingdom and his glory.

  16. Zac Hawkins says:

    I will pray for patience and knowledge in knowing god is always faithful if we stay connected to him during our struggles.

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