Day 40: But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you! Don’t force me to go back to my own people. Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you sleep, I will sleep. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16)
Don’t treat me wrongful making me feel uncomfortable to want to leave for with you is where I want to be. Don’t make me run back to where I came from back to the people I left to be with you. Let me remain by your side and go wherever you go,. Where you go I than shall go also. Where you sleep I shall sleep also. Your people shall be my people. Your God my god as well
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 even death separates you and me.”
Double-edged sword: The power of the Word – Ruth 1:16,17
BY ACTON STAFF • SEPTEMBER 28, 2011
Share this article:
But Ruth replied, “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 even death separates you and me.”
These words from Ruth are perhaps among the most well-known passages in the Old Testament. The book of Ruth is a story about the redemption of God’s people. It wonderfully contrasts the wisdom and ways of God with the wisdom of man. The book of Ruth takes place at the same time as the book of Judges. In Judges, “everybody did what is right in their own eyes.” Ruth and the other central characters in that book do what is right in the eyes of God.
Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, is in despair, broken-hearted, and she feels cursed. Her husband and sons have died. Presumably, as an older widow, she has no future. She decides to return to the Land of Judah to be among her people and persuades her daughters-in-laws that they must leave her or they too will be consigned to the same hopeless fate. They were Moabites and not Jews and faced better opportunity among their own people.
Ruth steps out in faith and defies human logic with her words to follow Naomi and God. Naomi decides to let her tag along because she realized there was no convincing Ruth despite her best efforts. As Naomi arrives back in Bethlehem, she continues her lament and demands to be called “Mara” or bitter. She is not even aware that she has returned with a blessing in Ruth.
A careful reading of the text of Chapter 1 shows a contrast in verse one and verse 22. A famine had enveloped the land but when Naomi and Ruth reached Bethlehem, it was the beginning of the harvest season. Bethlehem of course means “house of bread.” All the while through seemingly endless despair, God was working behind the scenes to bring the redemption of His people and all of humanity.
The beginning of Ruth starts out with seeming anguish and despair. It ends up as one of the greatest blessings in Scripture. Ruth’s marriage to Boaz sets up the genealogical line that will lead to the greatest redemption of all. The coming of Christ into the world. While things seemed hopeless and fruitless from a human standpoint, God was working behind the scenes to protect and redeem those who stay faithful to Him. Not only that, the Lord did it in a way that was more glorious and unimaginable than any human could comprehend.
What Does Ruth 1:16 Mean? ►
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Despite the discouraging words of her mother-in-law, who was blaming God for her misfortune and wanted to change her name from Naomi, which means pleasant to Mara, which means bitter, the young widow Ruth, who had experienced the self-same difficult problems and tragic loss, clung fast to Naomi and her people – and remained devoted to the God of Israel in Whom this young gentile woman had placed her eternal trust.
Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after thee, have become words of distinction, which have graced the lips of many a devoted follower or friend down through the centuries, but the roots of Ruth’s earnest entreaty reached far deeper that a close ‘woman-to-woman’ affection – for her desire was to know and to follow the true and living God, Creator of heaven and earth. Her yearning was to worship at the feet of the one and only God, Who had proved His faithfulness to her despite her many misfortunes – and so she firmly rejected forever the idols of wood and stone that she had grown with.. in her childhood in Moab.
What a glorious confession of love and devotion we see in Ruth’s words to Naomi: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Not only did she love her mother-in-law with a deep and tender love, but confessed her inner longing to unite with the people of Israel – and to forsake all, so that she might follow after the God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Naomi.
Ruth no doubt knew of God’s divine law that permanently excluded all Moabites from the congregation of Israel, and yet she threw herself on God’s mercy – and by grace through faith in Him, Ruth became one of the most exquisite ‘types’ of the Church we discover in the pages of Scripture and found herself elevated to be grandmother to the great king David and a descendent of the Messiah of Israel – the Lord Jesus Christ, causing Boaz.. her own kinsman-redeemer to become a glorious ‘type’ of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, Jesus is the Kinsman- Redeemer of His own beloved bride, the Church which is His Body, for we were bought with a price – the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died to free us from our own slavery to sin – returning us into glorious fellowship with our Creator God. Let us like Ruth.. in humility of heart and self-confessed love and devotion for him, follow after the perfect Kinsman-Redeemer – Who loved us so much that He gave Himself for love of us.
What does Ruth 1:16 mean?
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from
following after thee
Do not make use of any arguments to persuade me to go back: or “do not meet me”, or “be against me” F8; do not meet me with objections, or be in my way, or an hinderance to me, in going along with thee; do not be against it, for to be against that was to be against her inclination, desires, and resolutions, and against her interest:
for whither thou goest I will go:
let the country she was going to be what it would, though unknown to her, and though she should never see her own country any more:
and where thou lodgest I will lodge;
though in ever so mean a cottage, or under the open air:
thy people shall be my people;
whom I shall choose to dwell among, and converse with; whose religion, laws, and customs she should readily comply with, having heard much of them, their wisdom, goodness, and piety, of which she had a specimen and an example in Naomi, and by whom she judged of the rest:
and thy God my God;
not Chemosh, nor Baalpeor, nor other gods of the Moabites, be they what they will, but Jehovah, the God of Naomi, and of the people of Israel. So a soul that is truly brought to Christ affectionately loves him, and heartily cleaves unto him, resolves in the strength of divine grace to follow him, the Lamb, whithersoever he goes or directs; and is desirous to have communion with none but him, and that he also would not be as a wayfaring man, that tarries but a night; his people are the excellent of the earth, whom to converse with is all his delight and pleasure; and Christ’s God is his God, and his Father is his Father: and, in a word, he determines to have no other Saviour but him, and to walk in all his commands and ordinances.
F8 (yb yegpt le) “ne occurras mihi”, Vatablus, Rambachius; “ne obstes me”, Tigurine version; “ne adverseris mihi”, V. L. Drusius; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.