A Commitment to Love
By Jeff Cranston
In the Book of Ruth, you will find the most dramatic picture of true love. Read Chapter 1. In this passage, Ruth makes a marvelous commitment to Naomi by going with her to Bethlehem. In verse 17, Ruth tells Naomi, “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.”
The language in that passage, along with verse 16, is so beautiful that it disguises the severity of what Ruth is saying, which is basically: “May God kill me if I don’t stick close to you until one of us dies.” She is committing herself to taking care of Naomi in her old age and inviting God to take her life if she backs out of the commitment.
That’s a picture of biblical love, and it deserves to be trumpeted from the heavens. Today our society has been twisted totally out of shape because of re-definitions. Society has re-defined love to the point where we have no idea what it is any longer. We not only don’t know what love is, we consider it offensive when somebody tells us.
That’s where relativism leads—the view that there are no absolutes—and then we absolutely believe everything is relative! When a society redefines its words …
… sin is not sin, it’s a mistake;
… adultery is not adultery, it’s love;
… fraud isn’t fraud, it’s cleverness;
… then we have finally arrived where our re-definitions have been taking us for so long—treading along the precipice of societal insanity.
Ruth’s behavior is all wrong, according to our current values. She should have been living for herself, seeking her own happiness and taking complete control of her life. But according to God’s values, she’s a heroine, and her name deserves to be held in honor and awe. Ruth committed to love and that means not shrinking from what is difficult for the sake of a higher principle.
Who do you need to choose to love? To whom do you need to commit your love? Once you make a commitment to love, God moves and all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, persons, and material assistance begin to stream forth. We see it in Ruth’s very own life. And if God did it for her, and Naomi, and Boaz, He can do it in your life as well.
Jeff Cranston is lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, S.C.