In order to fully appreciate the degree of transformation in anything, we must understand not only what it has become but also what it once was. How about you? How does the current version of you compare with you version 1.0? Has transformation taken place? Has any change you have undergone been a change in a positive, godly direction?
Although you didn’t specifically read about Ruth’s earlier days…what she once was…let me remind us of two important realities from her past.
- She was a Moabite woman (1:3, 4). In other words, she grew up outside of the Jewish heritage. She probably did not have an upbringing that included regular instruction from the word of God. As such, her values may have been very different from those that God desired.
- She was a widow (1:5). Although we aren’t told how, we do know that her husband died after they had been married only a few years.
- She was childless. In her day, to have been married without children was to be placed low on the totem pole of valued individuals.
Ruth could have easily become a bitter, godless woman who ran from God and dove headlong into sin. But one of the key contributors to her transformation is found in a statement she made to her mother-in-law in Ruth 1:
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (1:16b)
Ruth made a commitment to the God of and the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that commitment changed the geography and the trajectory of her life. It took her to Bethlehem, in the heart of the Promised Land. Though she started by scavenging for food, she eventually had all of her needs met. That commitment led her from a life of singleness to marriage. That commitment led to her honor as the one once barren gave birth. In fact, not only would she have sons, but she was to be the great-grandmother of King David…and an important part of the lineage of Jesus.
Let’s be clear here. Your commitment to God will not guarantee a fairy-tale ending like Ruth seemed to experience. But it will lay the foundation for transformation that God wants to bring!