beyond ordinary wisdom
Ruth 1:6-14 (JDV)
Ruth 1:6 She and her daughters-in-law set out to return from the country of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that Yahveh1 had paid attention to his people’s need by providing them food.
Ruth 1:7 She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah.
Ruth 1:8 Naomi said to them, “Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May Yahveh show kindness to you as you have shown to the dead and to me.
Ruth 1:9 May Yahveh grant each of you rest in the house of a new husband.” She kissed them, and they wept loudly.
Ruth 1:10 They said to her, “We plan on returning with you to your people.”
Ruth 1:11 But Naomi replied, “Return home, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Am I able to have any more sons who could become your husbands?
Ruth 1:12 Return home, my daughters. Go on, because I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons,
Ruth 1:13 would you be willing to wait for them to grow up? Would you restrain yourselves from remarrying? No, my daughters, it is much too bitter for you to share, because Yahveh’s hand has turned against me.”
Ruth 1:14 Again they wept loudly, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
beyond ordinary wisdom
Naomi was only thinking of the future and welfare of her daughters-in-law when she asked them to stop travelling with her and go back home to their own people. She knew they needed to get connected to new families so that they could live and flourish.
Orpah cared about Naomi, and respected her wishes. She didn’t make her decision out of selfishness or greed. She just wanted to do the right thing. We should not look down on that. She was demonstrating ordinary wisdom.
But Ruth was blessed with an insight that went beyond ordinary wisdom. She cared about Naomi too, and her love for that woman led her to risk her own future to go with her to the foreign land of Israel. Naomi was coming home, but Ruth was going to Israel as a foreign immigrant. Naomi was destitute, but Ruth was making the choice to become worse than that.
What leads a person to make such a choice? She was leaving everything she knew. She was stepping out in faith — and demonstrating faithful love.
LORD, give us the wisdom of Ruth — to see beyond ordinary wisdom.
1 יהוה = Yahveh. Ruth 1:6, 8-9, 13, 17, 21; 2:4, 12, 20; 3:10, 13; 4:11-14.