Friday, October 30, 2015

Commit to follow

Ruth 1:7-17
But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud.
They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands?Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.”
Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”

what amazing commitment Ruth has!
Naomi has nothing left to give her.
It does not make sense.
Such devotion to her mother-in-law
will not benefit her (at least not yet!).
The road before them is
long and lonely and hard.

And yet,
Ruth commits.
"Hesed" is the Hebrew word
used to describe Ruth.
The same word, Lord,
used to describe You!
"Hesed" steadfast faithfulness
without failure
without flaw
without end.

the more I think about this story
the more I think You ARE Ruth.
And I am Naomi.
It does no good for you to commit to me.
There is no benefit to you.
There is only a hard way,
a painful way,
an empty deadly way.

And yet, there you are
in the garden praying in anguish sweating blood for me.
And yet, there you are
on the cross committed to death for me.
And yet, there you are
beyond the empty tomb committed to Resurrection life for me.

You turn to me and say,
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people..."

That's commitment!
Lord, Thank you!
for committing to me.
Teach me that kind of commitment,
"Hesed" steadfast faithfulness.

today I commit to follow you.

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