Ruth was married to an Israelite man, but she was from Moab. Elimelech and Naomi had two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. They had moved to Moab because of famine in Bethlehem. Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. They married women from Moab. Mahlon married Ruth and Kilion married Orpah.
Things got worse as both of Naomi’s sons died as well. 10 years they had lived in Moab before the young men died. Things got better in Judah and they prepared to return. But Naomi urged the young women to stay in Moab and find husbands. After urging, Orpah decided to go back home, but not Ruth. She said “don’t urge me to leave you, or 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. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17 NIV84)
WOW. And so Ruth goes to Bethlehem and it says “the whole city was stirred.” And eventually Ruth married a relative of theirs named Boaz. Together they had a son named Obed, and he had a son named Jesse, who bore a son named David, who tended sheep, wrote songs, killed lions, bears, and a Giant named Goliath. He became the King to whom all others were compared.
Why would Boaz take a chance on a convert from a pagan country? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that his Grandmother was a pagan named Rahab, from Jericho who acted in faith and joined God’s people. So he knew this kind of commitment.
So, what is commitment as we see it here?
1. A Commitment to Follow requires a Commitment to Lead
when it comes to a relationship, there should be a lead. Ruth committed to follow Naomi, but ultimately to follow God. Your God will be My God. That led her to Boaz.
Certainly God is committed to lead us, he has given us his Word and has set the way for us. So, we must fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher and we commit to follow. When you bring this idea into a marriage there must be commitment to lead and a commitment to follow. God created us to work together to serve him. He created Adam first told him to care for his things and he brought him Eve as a helpomate to fulfill his purposes.
So then, Jesus said in John 6:38 I have come down from Heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. There is a SENDER and a FOLLOWER.
2. A Willingness to Act When Prompted and To Wait When Needed
Where you go I will go, where you stay, I will stay
People by nature tend to be Go-ers or Stay-ers. Trailblazers or Homesteaders. But we must be willing to be either. The military Community to which I minister has to be really good at both. Time to Go … Let’s go. Here we are … let’s make it home for as long as we are here. We learn to hold loosely to things that do not really matter. I can relate. I grew up that way. Go may be a word you love or one you loath. But commitment says “I will go”. Or perhaps “wait” is a word you dread. I get the image of an obedient dog told to “sit and wait”, while the treat is laying on the ground and he salivates, or the prey is across the yard and obediently she waits until the Master says “Ok!”
But whatever the command, stay or God, the Joy is in the Obedience not in the Command
3. The Commitment is A commitment To a Relationship Together
Your people will be my people
Following God, following a spouse, following a job, always leads us to new people. “but i don’t like these people” … but “these are my people”. “Lord, your people will be my people”
Your God will be my God
Embracing God, embracing Lordship, embracing his sovereignty, embracing his purposes
“God, you are my God, and I will seek you earnestly” (Ps 63:1)
“We are your people the sheep of your pastor” (Ps 79:13)
It is a WE not just a ME in this pasture.
Finally, it is a Commitment to
4. A Shared Passion
Where you die, I will die
Jesus died on a hill surrounded by mockers, who were the ones he died to save
Where you die I will die
I will serve the undeserving
I will pray for the unloving
I will finish what I started
Where you go, I will go
Where you stay, I will stay
Your God My God
Your People My People
Where you die
I will Die
That Is Commitment