Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 22, 2015

“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Ruth Chapter 1.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth+1&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land.  And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.  2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi;  and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah.  Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.  3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died;  and she was left with her two sons.  4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives;  the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth.  And they lived there about ten years.  5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food.  7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.  8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house.  May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.  9 May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.”  Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.  10 And they said to her, “No, but we will surely return with you to your people.”  11 But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters.  Why should you go with me?  Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?  12 Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband.  If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait until they were grown?  Would you therefore refrain from marrying?  No, my daughters;  for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.”

14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again;  and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods;  return after your sister-in-law.”  16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you;  for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.  17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.  Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”  18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.”  Ruth 1:1-18.

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Ruth and Orpah were Moabites, foreigners, and Naomi wondered why they hung around her when she headed back to her own nation and home of her own religion.  Orpah indeed finally left, but Ruth clung to her.

There may be people who hang around us too, and we wonder why.  They may not show us that they have a lively faith in Christ, they may not talk much about what they believe, but they still hang around us and follow us.  They are willing to quietly and respectfully listen as we read Scripture and pray.  They are willing to attend church with us.

There is hope!    

Article 16.  Those who do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, and glorying in God through Christ, efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath appointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires, devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace.  Much less cause have they to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, who, though they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire;  since a merciful God has promised that he will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed.  But this doctrine is justly terrible to those, who, regardless of God and of the Savior Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.  Canons of Dordt FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

We may even be married to an unbeliever.  But, what does Scripture state?

“But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.”  1 Corinthians 7:12-14.

And, for the rest, “… let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.  Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”  Jonah 3:8-9.


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