a Jew, had been living in the land of Moab with her sons and 2
daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, when her sons died. The women were
left with no means to support themselves and no prospects for their
future. Naomi decided to return to her people in Judah and the girls
followed her some way before she said, rather emphatically, that
they should turn back. Orpah follows this command but Ruth refuses
and that is when she speaks the line I have quoted for you above.
She won't go back! Historically the model of a good Christian women
has been one who is demur, deferrential and mostly quiet. A good
woman stays home, raises her children and supports her husband.
Ironically, most of the women of the Bible, and especially the Old
Testament, make their mark by doing the opposite of this. They stand
up, stay firm and say, "no!" And that is what Ruth did.
Ruth said no and she followed Naomi to Judah and she married a man
named Boaz, which was an extremely unlikely coupling, and the two
produced a son, Obad, who had a son Jesse, who had a son...David.
That David. Thus Ruth the moabite, Ruth the pagan, Ruth the poor,
ragdoll of a girl, Ruth the stubborn is the great grandmother of the
greatest king in the history of Israel. And David is eventually
begat directly from Ruth's disobedience. I believe, and the
Presbyterian Church (USA) concurs, that God wants strong, dignified,
thoughtful, locquacious women who boldly go into the world as
servants in their own right. Ruth is a bold woman and her boldness
produced a memorable life and a great king. What will your boldness
Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for the gifts of women and
their tireless service to you through your Church. We pray this day
that women in the Church would be lifted up and affirmed and
welcomed into leadership. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
[text from file received from Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian