God’s Word Is Alive
Ruth Appreciated God’s People
THE attractive young woman here is Ruth, who lived in Moab, east of the Dead Sea. Even though she was raised among the Moabites who worshiped false gods, she is eager to serve the true God, Jehovah, along with his people of Israel. (Numbers 25:1-5) When she has this opportunity, she grasps it with an earnestness that endears her to other worshipers of Jehovah who know her as “an excellent woman.”—Ruth 3:11.
A famine in Israel provided Ruth with this opportunity to serve Jehovah. As a result of the famine, a family of four from the town of Bethlehem moved to the land of Moab. They are the family seen here—Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their sons Mahlon and Chilion. But shortly thereafter Elimelech dies. Later Mahlon marries Ruth, and Chilion marries another Moabite girl named Orpah. So with both a husband and a mother-in-law who worship Jehovah, Ruth comes to know the true God.
Not long afterward, however, both Mahlon and Chilion die, leaving the three women without husbands or children. You can just imagine their sadness. What will they do? Naomi learns that the famine in Israel is over. So she decides to return to her people in Bethlehem. Ruth and Orpah love their mother-in-law very much and they go with her. But after traveling for a while on the road, Naomi, as you can see, tells the girls: ‘Go back home and stay with your mothers.’
Naomi kisses the girls good-bye, and they start to cry. “No, but with you we shall return to your people,” they sob. Naomi urges: ‘You must go back, my daughters.’ So Orpah starts on her way home. However, Ruth does not go.
Naomi turns to Ruth and says: “Return with your widowed sister-in-law.” But Ruth replies with convincing earnestness: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I shall go, and where you spend the night I shall spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:1-17) So Ruth returns with Naomi and becomes a part of God’s people of Israel.
Have you, like Ruth, come to know the true God, Jehovah, and the people that are worshiping him? If so, may you have the same determination to give loyal support to Jehovah’s servants today as Ruth did long ago!
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