What’s a Girl to Do? (Ruth)
Your Future is NOT Cast in Stone
This is a continuation of a study where we have already looked at Rachel and what her choices were when she had a chance for a new life, a fresh start. Now we will look at Ruth and what her choices were when facing a similar situation.
In the end, we will get to decide if we are going to be a Rachel or a Ruth. There is a choice to make, but, what’s a girl to do?
Rachel could not let go of her past that she declared she wanted to leave behind. We understood clearly that she could never fully embrace her future until she admitted what was hiding in her saddle bags and relinquished her rights to them.
Ruth, like Rachel had married into a family that was different than her own; like Rachel, she was willing to leave the land of her own family and their way of life. But, while Rachel treasured the idols that belonged to the father she declared had done her wrong, Ruth pushed ahead. Instead of clinging to the past and all the hurts of yesterday, she clung desperately to the hope of tomorrow.
While Rachel ventured forth with her husband and children; Ruth was widowed and childless. Surely, she had even more reason to justify staying where she was. Surely, no one could have expected her to try to create a new life. And yet, even when Naomi, her mother-in-law tried to persuade her to return, she would not go back. Even when Naomi was successful in persuading her other daughter-in-law to return, she would not go back.
As a matter of fact, her final declaration of intention is one of the loveliest passages in the whole of Scripture.
‘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. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.’
(Ruth 1:16-18 NLT)
Time after time I have spoken with women who were at a cross roads in their life. Some have been forced into these points of decisions and choices. Perhaps as a teen they were taken from the family that a judge deemed unsafe. Perhaps as a young mother they are trying to establish boundaries to protect their own families from the pain of the past they have experienced. Perhaps they are widowed, like Ruth and feel as if they must begin again, all alone. Perhaps you find yourself there at this very moment.
Too many times we have allowed others to define who we are and determine our value. Too many times we have accepted what always has been as what must always be. Too many times we have felt guilty for desiring a different path to the point of feeling as if we are abandoning those we are ‘leaving behind’.
These are the false images that have been forced upon us. These have blinded us to the beauty and joy that could be ours when we remember who created us and who declared us to be good, very good. And to prove that you are most valuable to Him, God sent His own Son, Jesus to redeem you, to restore you.
I’d like you to consider a different way of thinking about it. Perhaps if you are courageous enough and steadfast like Ruth, you will be the first of many to make choices that lead to healing and hope.
Attached below is the 10 minute YouTube (part 4) of the study that tells of Ruth’s choices. Later we will look at two more women, an evil grandmother determined to destroy her own family and a brave young woman who refuses to let her succeed. ‘A Reason for Treason’.