Can you imagine losing your husband after 10 years of marriage? Can you imagine living in a country that hates your ethnicity? Can you imagine going through both of those things at once?
Ruth lost her husband after ten years of marriage and shortly after moved to a country that despised her Moabite roots. I imagine that she experienced devastation, loneliness, and hurt among other things.
As you know, the book of Ruth is a beautiful love story. We love this happy story because it is one of the few romances in the Bible.
However, we get sidetracked by the happy ending and forget that Ruth must have been suffering. Her godly attitude and submissive heart overshadow the hard things she must have gone through.
The book of Ruth is about God’s sovereignty in the midst of sin and suffering. And before she reaches her happily ever after, Ruth teaches us about a few lessons about singleness. And really just waiting in general.
Commitment to God
Ruth has an unwavering commitment to God. This is expressed in her commitment to her mother-in-law. Ruth is famous for saying, “…for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”
Her commitment to her mother-in-law was actually rooted in her relationship with God. Ruth was willing to forsake all else for Yahweh. She was willing to forsake her religion, her people, and for all she knew, all hopes of ever getting married.
Several hundred years later, the Apostle Paul would write that he counted all things as lost for the sake of Christ. This was the same passion that drove Ruth. Her actions were motivated by a firm belief in God.
Commitment to Serving Others
Ruth was known as a woman who served others. In chapter two of the book of Ruth, Ruth wonders why Boaz is extending such kindness to her – a foreigner. Boaz comments, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.”
Ruth’s reputation preceded her. She was known by her commitment to serve others. This is not a quality that you expect from someone who is going through a trial. She was able to put her own feelings aside and serve her mother-in-law. Her commitment to serving was motivated by her commitment to her Creator.
Commitment to Purposefulness
Ruth was not sitting around waiting for a husband or waiting for her situation to change. She was purposeful. She was the one that suggested that she go gather the leftover grain.
This was a woman who trusted God, but who also knew that God does not call us to a life of sitting on the sidelines. One of my favorite quotes is “waiting is active trust.” As a believer our waiting is filled with purpose. We have hope in a good God who is in sovereign control of our lives. Because of this we can live purposeful lives.
Commitment to God, Others, and Purposefulness
Whether you are waiting on a husband or simply waiting for a hard situation to end, let us have a commitment to the Lord, to serving others, and to living purposeful lives.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Would I be willing to give up everything for the sake of following Christ?
- Am I known for serving others despite going through difficult circumstances?
- Am I living a life of purposefulness? Or am I sitting waiting for God to change my circumstances?