JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from Ruth 1:16.
The book of Ruth opens in the land of Moab, reporting the deaths of three men. The surviving widows were Naomi, and her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah.
Naomi was originally from Bethlehem. After her husband and sons died, she was bitter in spirit, and decided to go back to Bethlehem. Naomi’s heart was so heavy that she believed that the Lord’s hand was against her. Tragedies can lead us to believe that way sometimes. But God had not abandoned Naomi.
In her bitterness, she told Orpah and Ruth to return to Moab, so that they could remarry. But Ruth was tenacious in her commitment to Naomi. She uttered these famous words, “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.” She was committed to Naomi as a daughter for life. In addition, she was drawn to Naomi’s faith in the Lord and would follow the same God that Naomi worshiped.
Ruth would be grafted into the line of ancestors that led to the birth of Jesus. When we are grafted into the family of God through faith, our story becomes part of His story, which is our blessing for His glory.
Commitment is a vital-relationship building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.