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Blog - Thy People Shall Be My People, And Thy God My God
"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: 17) 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. 18) When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her." (Ruth 1:16-18) While reading through the book of Ruth this morning, my attention was again drawn to Ruth's steadfast faith, and how it should be a pattern followed by every one of us who have found the "LORD God of Israel, under whose wings [we] art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12). Ruth was a Moabitess, a stranger to the nation of Israel. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, an Israelite woman who had moved to Moab with her husband and two sons because of a famine in Israel. Ruth married one of Naomi's sons and in the process of time, both Naomi's and Ruth's husbands died, at which time Naomi decided to return to Israel and bade Ruth to return to her mother's house. Ruth loved Naomi, and apparently knew enough about Naomi's God that she was not willing to allow Naomi to leave for Israel without her. You can read about all that in Ruth 1:1-15. After the third time of bidding her to return home, Ruth uttered those famous words that still bring tears to my eyes every time I read them, "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 1:16-17). This is how each of us should feel about the Lord and His people. Just as Ruth clave unto Naomi (Ruth 1:14), and the converts of the apostle Paul clave unto him because they believed the gospel he preached to them (Act 17:34); I exhort you, as Joshua did to Israel and as Barnabas did to the Christians at Antioch, to "cleave unto the LORD" (Jos 23:8; Act 11:23). When it comes to the things of life: keep a loose grip; but when it comes to the things of God: keep a tight one and hold on to them. Let us "hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering" (Heb 10:23), and "lay hold on eternal life" (1Ti 6:12). Take "fast hold of instruction; let her not go" (Pro 4:13); prove all things and "hold fast that which is good" (1Th 5:21); stand fast and "hold the traditions which ye have been taught" (2Th 2:15), and "hold fast the form of sound words" (2Ti 1:13). Let's show the evidence that we are the house of God and "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Heb 3:6). Since Jesus our high priest is passed into the heavens, "let us hold fast our profession" (Heb 4:14). Let's give ourselves the assurance that we are partakers of Christ, which we do "if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Heb 3:14). So just as Ruth did when she found the God of Israel and His people, hold on to the Lord Jesus Christ and His people, brethren, and not even death itself will separate us from Him, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:38-39).