Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Song of Ruth

Ruth In The Fields by Merle Hugues, 1876
"Wherever you go...I shall go. Wherever you live, so shall I live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God too."

We used to sing this song at church, and sometimes during weddings. At the time I just understood the lyrics as they were, but now knowing the story behind the song, it seems a bit odd (?) singing these verses at a wedding, now that I think about it... but I digress.

Have you ever been at a difficult situation... I mean a REALLY difficult one, one that took you out of your comfort zone, and clinging to God seems to be either your only option, or the last thing on your mind?

This morning as I was reading from the book of Ruth, I was reminded once again of how faithful God is in our lives when we cling to Him. Ruth's situation was one that I couldn't possibly imagine going through -- first losing her husband, moving to a strange country far away, and then working to provide for herself and her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi had urged her to return to her home in Moab while she journeys back to the land of Judah. She even gave her the blessing to remarry and prays she finds peace and rest in her homeland.

Ruth however refused and clung to Naomi, "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." (Ruth 1:16-17)

She was determined to be with Naomi, even if it meant being a foreigner in a distant land that was not her home. I believe this was because she learned about God through her husband and mother-in-law, and clung to their faith as her own. Although this was going to be out of her comfort zone, she did not want to go back home and marry a Moabite husband, to go back to worshipping false gods. 

Even in the midst of difficulty, because of her faithfulness, the Lord blessed her greatly. He not only provided for her, but also led her to her second husband Boaz, a wise, kind and wealthy man.

Because of her faithfulness, through her line, lived David... the same David who killed the Philistine giant Goliath, David who was anointed by God to be King of Israel, the man after God's own heart.

Often we hate to be taken out of our comfort zone... we like to be creatures of habit, caught up in the routine of life and pursuing things that we feel will make us happy.

But what do we do when life becomes difficult?  Who do we turn to when we are faced with challenges that feel like they are beyond our capabilities to handle?

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, 
for He who promised is faithful."
- Hebrews 10:23

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
  the LORD bestows favor and honor;  

no good thing does he withhold
  from those whose walk is blameless
- Psalm 84:11

1 comment:

Mrs.G said...

oh my yanee! i miss singing this song with you guys and really just singing with you. i did hear from a friend that this song was not really ruth's song for her husband but for her mother-in-law. and ever since then, I understood how great her love must be for her mother-in-law (a very strange love for the Filipino culture). This is also Mama's favorite song in church, and as you know she doesn't really understand too much English and I doubt she knows the story of Ruth. but then, I figured out that Mama is exactly like Ruth. Loving her mom-in-law and living with the family in Cubao, which is the house of her in-laws, and earning respect and love through the years. Hay, thanks for reminding me of this song, my mom, and every great memory we had :)


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