“…whither thou goest, I will go”

Ruth and Naomi

The Bible contains great stories for every principle one would wish to learn about and apply in their lives. One of such principles is loyalty and service, and the story of Ruth teaches this so well.

Let’s provide a bit of background detail to the story, shall we? So Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, lost her husband and her two sons. After the death of her sons, Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to her country of birth, Bethlehem. She entreated her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers’ house and wished them well. They both hesitated for a bit as they had resolved to go with Naomi wherever she was headed. But after much persuasion from Naomi, and so many tears shed, Orpah finally kissed her mother-in-law goodbye but Ruth stayed with her and gave her this promise “whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” Ruth’s love for Naomi is admirable and her loyalty is worth emulating. The lesson I learnt from this part of her story is to be selfless even in moments of despair when we feel that we rather deserve all the care, love and attention. Ruth had lost her husband but she was not selfish, she rather looked outward and blessed Naomi with kindness without been asked to do so. She didn’t forget that she too was suffering from a loss, but she looked past it and went on to do good. Acts of kindness that are done wholeheartedly, with no expectations in mind, have a special way of opening the heavens.

In Bethlehem, Ruth was so hardworking in the fields that she got noticed by Boaz, a prominent and wealthy man. He showed her a great deal of kindness and as Ruth expressed her gratitude he makes it known to her that he’s been told about how kind she’s been to her mother-in-law and the sacrifices she’s made and he in turn blesses her. In the third and fourth Chapters of the Book of Ruth, Naomi instructs Ruth on what to do to earn the favor and love of Boaz, and through Ruth’s obedience to her words, Boaz is impressed by Ruth and eventually marries her.

Ruth’s story proves that doing the right thing is not always easy but is always worth it in the end, and sacrifices, hard as they may seem, bring blessings.

Another valuable lesson from Ruth and Naomi’s story is that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We only need to have faith and trust in Him and His timing. Ruth had no idea of the blessings that awaited her. She only did what she thought was right and made a very difficult yet selfless decision to stay with Naomi till death separated them. Her blessings came in beautifully to the extent that she was blessed to give birth to Obed from whose generation came the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ruth was hardworking and had integrity. She worked hard on the fields to sustain Naomi and herself even when no one was watching because she knew it was so the right thing to do. Our good works don’t ever go unnoticed. There comes a time when we’ll be rewarded for all the sacrifices we’ve made.

I cherish this story and lessons it contain so much. I hope you enjoyed reading this and hope you’ll take the time to read the Book of Ruth for yourself too- who knows, you might find some more useful lessons tailored for you alone.

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