It took courage for Ruth to leave the land of her birth. Let’s learn from her story in the Book of Ruth.
Naomi moved to Moab with her husband and two sons because of famine in Israel. Their two sons had Canaanite names and married Moabites, who were traditionally bitter enemies of the Israelites: “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation” (Deuteronomy 23:3).
Subsequently, Naomi’s husband and the two sons died. In those days, widows had difficulty surviving, unless they had money or sons. Naomi had neither. When Naomi heard that there was food in Israel, she and one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, returned to Israel.
Typically, immigrants leave their place of birth hoping for a more comfortable life. But not Ruth. In Israel, Ruth had no family connections nor status. In fact, Israelites saw Moabites as horrible, wicked people.
We could see the danger when Ruth picked leftover grain in an Israel field. The owner knew she had been good to Naomi. He suggested Ruth to stay in his field, and said, “I have told the men not to lay a hand on you” (Ruth 2:9).
Ruth left Moab because she loved Naomi (Ruth 4:15) and she recognized Yahweh as God, implying her belief. In Ruth 1:16-17, Ruth said to Naomi, “Your people will be my people and your God my God…. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
We can only postulate that Ruth’s faith came from seeing God in Naomi’s life. Because of Naomi, Ruth took refuge in God (Ruth 2:12). In turn, Ruth redeemed Naomi from a life of bitterness and saved the line of David through which Christ would come.
Christ was also an immigrant. He gave up His life to move to earth, where He suffered terribly and died to redeem us from a life of hell. God the Father raised Him from the dead, making His name above all names.
Learn from Christ and Ruth. Don’t focus on what the world considers as a good life. Surrender ourselves. Follow Christ. God will be with us and give us a great life.
Adapted from a Tim Keller sermon:
由於以色列的飢荒，拿俄米随着丈夫带着兩個兒子一起搬到了摩押。兩個兒子都改成了迦南人的名字，與当地人結婚。摩押人是以色列人的仇敵. “亞捫人，摩押人或他們的後裔都不可能参加主的集會，甚至在他们的第十代也不能。” 申23：3.
我們可以看到她在以色列田间採摘剩餘穀物時的危險。田地的主人知道路得善待拿俄米。 他建議路得留在他的田地裡, 並說：“我已经告訴我的仆人不要欺负你.”路得記2：9。
我們只能假設路得的信仰來自於在拿俄米的生命中看見上帝。由於拿俄米，上帝成为路得的避難所 （路得记2:12）。 反過來，因为路得的缘故，拿俄米從痛苦的生活中被救贖出來，使大卫后裔的这一支得以延续。基督就是路得的后代。