Ruth 1:16-17

Ruth 1:16-17

16 But Ruth replied, “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. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Ruth 1:16-17

As we leave the book of Judges and prepare to enter 1 Samuel looking at examples of obedience or disobedience we find the short book of Ruth. Instead of obedience we have instead a form of commitment. It is where we find a statement by Ruth to her mother in law, Naomi Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Naomi’s husband has died and her two sons have died leaving her with two daughters in law who were Moabites. She encourages them to leave her and return to their own land Moab and people. One goes, but Ruth stays out of great love for Naomi and a call or pull to her God as well instead of the gods of Moab. So she commits herself to Naomi saying even further Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. Then she adds May the Lord [the Lord God of Israel] deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.

If you want more of Judges go here or here, but here in the book of Ruth, the Moabite woman who came to follow the Lord God of Israel – rejecting the gods of Moab – and remaining with the woman she had come to love, her mother in law Naomi. Here I wish to give you a few comments from MacLaren’s Expositions or commentary on Ruth.

The lovely idyl of Ruth is in sharp contrast with the bloody and turbulent annals of Judges. It completes, but does not contradict, these, and happily reminds us of what we are apt to forget in reading such pages, that no times are so wild but that in them are quiet corners, green oases, all the greener for their surroundings, where life glides on in peaceful isolation from the tumult. Men and women love and work and weep and laugh, the gossips of Bethlehem talk over Naomi’s return {‘they said,’ in Ruth 1:19, is feminine}, Boaz stands among his corn, and no sounds of war disturb them. Thank God! the blackest times were not so dismal in reality as they look in history. There are clefts in the grim rock, and flowers blooming, sheltered in the clefts. The peaceful pictures of this little book, multiplied many thousand times, have to be set as a background to the lurid pictures of the Book of Judges. (emphasis added)

This is so in our own time in our own country where there appears to be only strife and division. Yet, still there is family life: weddings, births, deaths and burials. Life goes on with the many seeing only the strife and division, but there are still so many of God’s gifts to see and enjoy. We are even given the following instruction by the Apostle Paul

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

That being said/quoted, here is more from MacLaren’s Espositions on Ruth.

Put the sweet figure of the Moabitess beside the heroes of the Book of Judges, and we feel the contrast. But is there anything in its pages more truly heroic than her deed, as she turned her back on the blue hills of Moab, and chose the joyless lot of the widowed companion of a widow aged and poor, in a land of strangers, the enemies of her country and its gods? It is easier far to rush on the spears of the foe, amid the whirl and excitement of battle, than to choose with open eyes so dreary a lifelong path. The gentleness of a true woman covers a courage of the patient, silent sort, which, in its meek steadfastness, is nobler than the contempt of personal danger, which is vulgarly called bravery. It is harder to endure than to strike. The supreme type of heroic, as of all, virtue is Jesus Christ, whose gentleness was the velvet glove on the iron hand of an inflexible will. ….
Finally, we may see, in Ruth’s entrance into the religion of Israel, a picture of what was intended to be the effect of Israel’s relation with the Gentile world.