March 15
Rev. Jan Sattem
Good Shepherd Church

Ruth 1:16
Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you, for where you go I will go,
and where you lodge I will lodge.

In the book of Ruth, a Jewish couple with little faith left their national country due to a
famine. Naomi, the wife, ended up burying her husband Elimelech (whose name means
“God is my judge”) and her sons. One daughter-in-law returned to her homeland, but
one, Ruth, admired Naomi’s God. Ruth was a Moabitess. Naomi tried to convince her to
return, but Ruth uttered the now famous words, “Do not urge me to leave you or to
return from following you, for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.”

To utter those words took unusual courage and great discernment on the part of Ruth.
Remember Elimelech had left his countrymen to go where he thought the food would
be plentiful. Instead, both he and his sons died there. Now as Ruth comes back to his
homeland, this daughter-in-law broadcasts a disobedience in their family. They had
intermarried! She is humbled by her circumstances! The two women find themselves at
the mercy of the general Jewish population
.
Noami gleaned a field for food, and it turned out that Boaz, the landowner, was a single,
older man and a relative of Naomi’s. Naomi encouraged Ruth to signify that she would
willingly marry this relative. Boaz, perhaps, was stunned that such an attractive and
godly woman of integrity would consider him. He agreed to take the steps necessary to
redeem and then marry her.

What was inside Boaz that he would do that? What motivated Boaz to such kindness?
His parents must have had unusual love for outsiders. It turns out that is exactly true.
You see, his mother was Rahab— yes, Rahab the harlot. Boaz had seen assisting the
immigrant modeled by his own mother’s life. Let’s recall also that both women are in
the genealogy of our Savior.

Questions for Further Study
1. What does today’s passage teach us about the character of God?
2. What are some other passages of Scripture that also teach us this?
3. How does today’s passage and devotion lead you to pray? How does it lead you
to act?