by John O’Malley
“And Ruth said...thy people shall be my people” (Ruth 1:16).
Ruth’s testimony of her conversion included an interesting phrase. She told Naomi, “I want to be a part of your people.” Certainly, Ruth had been listening to the last ten years of Naomi’s conversation about her people. This phrase demands an investigation into the content and tone of Naomi’s conversation about her home folks.
Ruth’s statement includes two apparent thoughts. First, Naomi maintained a distinction from being a Moabite. No matter how long she spent in Moab, she never became a Moabite. We note this from Ruth’s confession that said “thy people.”
Secondly, it is critical to note that though Naomi knew “all the dirt” on the home folks, she spent her time speaking of a people that were different because of their God, not because of their idiosyncrasies. Not one word that Naomi spoke during Ruth’s ten years of listening drove Ruth from God, but rather drew Ruth to God’s people.
Ruth wanted to meet a people who had God to fight their battles for them. She wanted to meet the people that had provision made for them in the wilderness and in famines. She wanted to meet the people who had escaped Egypt, marched around walls, and seen miracles in battle. She wanted to become one of those people.
How are you doing when it comes to your conversations about the people of God in your church?Have your conversations drifted to cynical, sarcastic, and shadowy gossip? Will this draw your lost family members to Christ? I think not! Let us maintain a standard in our conversations that is Biblical (Philippians 1:27; 1 Peter 2:12).
Think about it...