“But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.” (Ruth 1:16 – 18)
This passage from Ruth is probably one of the most precious words I have ever heard or read. I am moved by Ruth’s close attachment to her mother-in-law. But more than that, she found someone with something she wanted – something she has never seen before but worth getting and keeping no matter the cost.
Every human being should have another human being that they could put such hope and trust in. Naomi is not replacing God for Ruth, but Ruth sees something godly in Naomi, something she has not seen in any Moabite or other person ever. Perhaps something she didn’t see in her husband before he died, the son of Naomi. But it is very important to Ruth that she not let it slip away from her, that she not let Naomi slip away from her, even to death.
I once read where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If a man has not found something he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live.” My heroes change as I get older. I now seek out the quiet, soft spoken wise ones. They no longer have to be big and tough. Toughness can come in small packages. Naomi (or Ruth for that matter) will work just fine.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.