The story of Ruth is one of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible. You may think we are talking about the beautiful love story of Ruth and Boaz, but no – we’re talking about the love story between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi. It was a love that consisted of commitment and loyalty beyond what we know to be normal. It was covenant. Though, the book of Ruth never mentions the word Covenant, we can say that it is the most famous verse in the book of Ruth.
Ruth came from the city of Moab. Moab was a city born of incest, known for promiscuity and worshipping other gods! We see Ruth was a pagan, an idol worshipper, who’s family history came from incest. But God! Despite Ruth’s past, background and family lineage, God chose her to be placed in the lineage of Christ!
How often do we think we can’t be used? We were born in a broken home, father ran out, mother on drugs…Assaulted as a child – everyone’s story is different. Maybe we grew up and allowed sin in our lives and we think God can’t use us. God can use ANYONE who is willing to let HIM change them and follow Him!
There is so much history and background to Ruth’s story, but we won’t get into that as we want to focus on the heart of Ruth. Naomi, Orpah and Ruth are all widows and Naomi decides to go back to her hometown. She tells both daughters’ in law to return to their mother’s homes because she has nothing left to give them. Orpah left to return home, but this is where Ruth makes the covenant to go with Naomi back to her people and cling to her!! THIS covenant heart is where she positions herself in the bloodline of the Savior and her story goes from rags to riches!
Ruth 1:14 – “Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.” Ruth clung to her! Most people cringe at the word “clingy.” We don’t like clingy people. Ruth was determined to not leave her side and make sure her mother in law would not be alone. Just a thought, but if Naomi left back to her homeland by herself, she probably would have died. I mean, we don’t know how long the journey was, she was already in despair and maybe she wanted to just go and die. Ruth however, wasn’t going to let anything happen to her and she even made a vow to her.
“For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth 1:16
Most people use this verse in weddings and think this was between a man and a woman. No – this was the covenant vow Ruth made to Naomi! “Where you go, I will go!” That is covenant! She committed herself to Naomi unto death! Isn’t that just like our Father – covenant, loyal, love! Ruth displayed a covenant loyal love. A love that sacrifices and gives expecting nothing in return. Little did Ruth know that it was in that kind of love she gained her great reward…Boaz!
How many times do we hear women say “I’m waiting for my Boaz?” Or “I’m looking for my Boaz?” Well, Ruth wasn’t looking or waiting for Boaz! Boaz came because of her loyal love to Naomi. You want to catch the eye of God, then live a life of covenant loyal love!
Blessings of Covenant
1. Walks you into your Divine destiny
We see that Ruth walked into the field of Boaz and caught His eye. What we want to point out is how did she reach her destiny? It wasn’t that Ruth was striving and seeking her calling, instead she gave of herself for someone else’s benefit, that she in return gained her reward.
We know that both Naomi and Ruth had just experienced loss. Ruth had every right to be in mourning right along with Naomi. But Ruth took her eyes of herself and on to Naomi. Ruth took a risk stepping into the unknown into a foreign land with Naomi.
How many times does God take us on unknown journeys – we have NO idea where we are going, what’s ahead. It’s unfamiliar and a bit intimidating. But, if we will trust His lead, even when we can’t see the road ahead, He will take us to places we couldn’t get to on our own. Yes, there may be some speed bumps and roadblocks on the way, BUT He promises to walk us through them all. We have to realize that the blessings we seek are not always going to come easy. It takes a sacrifice of ourselves and a killing of our flesh. It takes us out of the familiar and into destiny
2. Brings Healing
Ruth’s commitment to Naomi turned Naomi’s heart around. Naomi called herself Mara in the beginning, meaning Bitter. As a woman of God, it was like she forgot all His benefits. Ruth who was not a Christian, is the one whose life encouraged Naomi. Because Ruth stayed committed to the end, Naomi went from bitter to better! Naomi went from despair too hopeful, and from unbelief to faith!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm?” Ecc. 4:9
3. All parties are blessed through covenant
Not only was Ruth blessed but so was Naomi. Ruth 4:9 “…today you are witness that I have bought from Naomi all the property…..I have also acquired Ruth as my wife….” Ruth was so committed to Naomi that even Boaz automatically knew when he took on Ruth, he was taking on Naomi. You can’t break or separate covenant! It’s eternal!
What you do unto other’s will in return be done for you. Naomi then in return wanted to make sure Ruth was taken care. In Ruth 3:1 she tells her “My daughter I just find a home for you where you will be well provided for.” So Naomi instructs her to go to the threshing floor where Boaz would be and we all know what happened!!
Now to take this even further how does the story relate to us? God spoke to us a few years ago that it would be covenant that would get us through the end times. We didn’t fully understand what God meant by that until now!
Ruth and Naomi experienced a famine in their land and left somewhere else that was prosperous which ended up leading them into God’s divine plan. Right now we are experiencing a pandemic worldwide, somewhat of a famine. In this time of crisis where will we go? Who will we turn to? Are we going to turn to God and put our trust in Him? My sister and I have always said hell or high water, easy or hard, good or bad we are in this together. In our marriages, same with our church and most importantly with our God!
We feel God is calling us to a place of being covenant people. To go beyond comfort and stop being people of convenience. To be bonded through God’s love! God is a covenant making and keeping God and we should do the same. As the church, the body of Christ what will be known by? Kris Vallaton of Bethel quotes “We have been known by who we are against instead of being known by who we love.”
God is looking for such a people. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
Will His eyes find you, will they find us? Lord we pray we will be a people who’s hearts are loyal to you!