“Look,” Naomi said to Ruth, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” —Ruth 1:15-16
…your God will be my God.
Ruth’s declaration of faith in God is one of the strongest in all of the Bible.
Ruth married into a family that believed in Yahweh, then her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law all died. I have to think she had some serious questions about the love of God. Not to mention, to go with Naomi, Ruth would be turning her back on her citizenship, her family, her culture, and any means of security that might be available to her. Ruth has no logical reason to say to Naomi “Your God will be my God.”
God spoke to Abraham, was in the burning bush for Moses, wrestled with Jacob, gave strength to Samson, and sent an angel to Gideon. All of these men experienced something that would bolster their faith. Ruth had no dream, no experience, no voice and no angel. Why would she claim Naomi’s God as her own? What incentive did she have?
Most who place their faith in God are like Ruth. Few people today hear God’s audible voice, see a burning bush, receive a supernatural ability, or rub shoulders with an angelic visitor (and if they claim to have experienced any of these things…we have serious reservations). Ruth was able to place her faith in God without any of these experiences. She has endured pain, listened to Naomi’s inaccurate rants about God’s character, and received no special messages convincing her God has some special plan for her life. Where did Ruth find faith?
I don’t know the answer to the question. All I know is that somewhere along the way, Ruth heard some truth about God and she believed it. She trusted what had been revealed to her and it became an opportunity for her to trust Him more. It is a divine mystery, but all faith in God is. If all elements of faith can be understood, it is no longer a faith in the Almighty.
The Bible tells us faith in God comes from hearing the word of God. Even though I cannot pinpoint where Ruth heard about the true, living God; we can be certain this is where her faith was birthed. The same is true for you and I today. Our faith springs forth when we hear, accept, and trust real truth about the living God.
Many of us have endured the obstacles Ruth faced. We have experienced the pain of our broken world. We have waded through all the comments about God that do not even come close to explaining who he really is. We have had no “aha” moments or special visions. We, like Ruth, get tidbits of truth that nudge at our hearts. It is in those moments we must decide to follow the truth or lean on logic. Ruth chose the truth.
When we follow truth and let faith blossom, we also gain wisdom. By the end of Ruth’s story you are going to think she was really wise when she chose to follow God. But wisdom is a by-product of accepting truth and living by faith. She doesn’t look wise right now, but heavenly wisdom rarely looks wise in our world. To learn more about wisdom read this.
Don’t neglect the nudges of truth God sends your way. Accept them. Trust them. Each time you do, you are telling God you want more of him. He never disappoints.
Here is a song to encourage you in the journey: Word of God Speak by Mercy Me.