Applying The Book Of Ruth

Q. A friend recently made the statement that when she married her husband, who was from a small country town which was very different from where she had grown up, it was very hard. She evidently was divorced, but told me she tried very hard to live up to the phrase in the Bible that said, I will make your people my people. She was never really accepted in the small town by her husband’s friends and family. My question is, was she interpreting this phrase correctly?

A. The verse you quoted is from the Book of Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite woman, the widow of Naomi’s son. Naomi’s family had moved to Moab from Bethlehem during a famine, but her husband and two sons died there. She was returning to Israel and had urged Ruth to stay in her homeland and find a new life. Ruth’s response reads, “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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)

It sounds like your friend was interpreting the passage correctly and made a commitment to try and blend in. But apparently her efforts were not as successful as Ruth’s, who eventually married a prominent man from her adopted home town named Boaz, and wound up in the Lord’s genealogy (Matt. 1:5).

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