Still, they did not want to leave her: "Surely we will return with you to your people," they begged (Ruth 1:10). But Naomi told the girls she could not provide more sons for them to marry. She finished her second entreaty to them with a heartbreaking cry of grief, accusing her God of going out against her (v.13).
Sobbing, Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye. But Ruth clung to her. The words that poured from Ruth's soul are among the most beautiful in all of scripture. They not only reveal her devotion to Naomi but her willingness to submit her life to the God of Naomi: "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me" (Ruth 1:16-17).
In a surprising declaration, Ruth invoked the proper name of the world's one true God, Yahweh (Lord), "the existing one," and promised, "The Lord do so to me and more also, if anything but death parts you and me." It seems that Ruth had come to know God.
Naomi slowly released herself from Ruth's embrace. She probably noted the swollen eyes, red with pleading and agony. Perhaps she even reached her wrinkled hand up and cupped Ruth's face, her cheeks stained with tears and grime from the road. I like to think the older woman smiled, hooked her arm through Ruth's, and headed resolutely in the direction of Bethlehem.
Young Ruth's decision on that dusty road millennia ago was one of complete surrender-not only to naomi, but also to the God of Israel. It equaled a declaration of love (though the word love never appears in the book of Ruth, despite the fact that love pervades every chapter).
Did Ruth have any idea her commitment would continue a series of events that started in eternity past and would affect the entirety of civilization? Did she know that hundred years of years earlier, when God promised Abraham all families of the earth would be blessed through his seed, that she would have anything to do with that blessing? She was a foreigner to the covenant nation of Israel, a widow, a Moabite, and a Gentile.
Did Ruth know that by submitting to Yahweh, she would be maneuvered into the sphere of a kind, wealthy man named Boaz, a relative of Naomi's, who would beco9me their kinsman-redeemer and restore their heritage? Did she know her future great-grandson, David, was destined to become the great king of Israel and father of the royal line of Jesus the Messiah and Savior of the world?
Ruth knew none of these things. Yet they all occurred because of her unconditional surrender to the grue and living God on a dusty road in Moab. As a Gentile, she was spiritually destitute, an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, a stranger from the covenants of promise, hopeless and godless and living in spiritual poverty (Eph 2:12). Then, through Messiah Jesus, who provides forgiveness of sin through faith in Him, we Gentiles are grafted into the blessings of righteousness that God has provided for His Chosen People, Israel.
Ruth's decision led her into God's family. It sealed her into the Messianic line that would produce the Savior of the world. She had no idea how significant her choice would be. Just like Ruth's life, I want to be like her, to surrender everything I am, all my life, to God.