“And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Entreat 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: 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.”
Naomi having two daughters-in-law that lost their husbands, entreated them to return to their people and land because there was nothing she had left to offer them. You can feel the emotion in this passage that it was a hard thing to do. They all wept, Oprah had kissed Naomi, …but Ruth did not let go; she cleaved. She was clinging to love, not personal gain. I really want to see this picture pretty clearly. After having expressed that there was nothing left that she could offer Ruth and Orpah, Ruth still held on because of the deep love she had for Naomi.
While I realize that God himself has so much to offer, and already offered everything in the form of His only son who became flesh and an atonement for our sins, I want us to take an assessment of our hearts and see if (Naomi being the type of Christ; us being one of two daughter-in-laws) we could respond to God in the same way Ruth did; without carnal motives. Choosing to cleave with no expectation or even desire for personal gain!
In the gospels, you’ll find that after feeding the 5,000 with the loaves and fishes, many continued to follow Jesus, but only because of the food. It’s sad, but true that many people pursue a relationship with God for selfish motivations other than a sincere relationship. You can find the evidence of this all throughout tel-evangelism in modern “American Christianity” using God as a means for wealth, success, and notoriety. This however, is “doctrines of devils” and a complete blasphemous usage of the Word of God. Biblical standards teach us to take the lowest seat, to go without script or purse, to not seek after worldly gain but Godly gain, to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth.
In reading this passage, I feel my heart cry, “Lord give your church the heart of Ruth!” A heart that says, “Lord, even if you don’t do anything for me, I will still cleave to you!” I heard a pastor years ago say something that really stuck with me. He said, “Lord, if you don’t do anything else for me, you saved me!” And that really got me thinking to focus in on the appreciation of my salvation, that if God ever grants any other blessing outside of that it is just a bonus! If you are saved, and have escaped the fires of an eternal hell, it’s time to cleave without any other motive than love!