Ruth 1:1-11, 14-18
We have now reached the shortest of the historical books, which contains the sweet rustic story of Ruth. Her history is no doubt recorded in the Scriptures because she was one of the ancestors of our Lord Jesus. He who came to save the Gentiles was pleased so to arrange the order of his genealogy, that a foreigner from a heathen land should be one of his progenitors.
They had escaped the famine, but other troubles overtook them. In every land trial will be our lot.
A las, poor soul! The darts of death wounded her terribly! Yet the Lord did not leave her alone in her widowhood; he prepared a loving heart to yield her sympathy.
This was glad news, and it came to her in a good and pious form. No idle gossip would have reported the affair in so holy a shape. Perhaps, however, this was Naomi’s way of interpreting the happy event; and it was a most proper one. We ought always to trace good gifts to the giver. Our bread, whether it be temporal or spiritual, comes from the Lord.
And then she reminded them that she had no more sons to become their husbands, and urged them to go back to their own nation, adding,—
The aged matron acted wisely in testing the young women. Many say they will join the Lords people who have not thought of the trials of true religion: they had better count the cost.
How like these two women are to certain opposite characters we have met with: one, like Orpah, is pleased with religion, and would fain follow the Lord Jesus, but gives it all up because of difficulty or trial; but the other, like Ruth, being really converted, holds on through fair and foul, and perseveres unto the end.
Thus she joined the Lord’s people, and never did she regret it. Those who cast in their lot with Jesus may have to rough it for awhile; but a fair portion surely lies before them.
She was only too glad to have her for a life-companion. The people of God are glad to welcome sincere souls into their fellowship.