by John O’Malley
"The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me" (Ruth 1:17).
Several years ago, an Olympic runner was knocked down in his race. The crowd gasped as his hopes for winning were crushed. The crowd of runners all passed him by, but he determined to get up and finish. Certainly, he would have been justified to get out of the race, because he would not win the race. Truly, he would not win, but that runner ran on because his determination was to finish the race he started.
In our passage, Ruth is beginning her race as a believer. Obstacles and obstructions certainly were before her. So, she concluded with determination that she was entering the race to finish. She determined that day that she would finish her course.
She stated this with the strongest declaration she could make. Ruth said nothing short of death would knock her out of the race. She went on to declare that she wanted God to give her worse than death if she ever dropped out from this fellowship between herself and the only other believer she knew: Naomi.
The point is clear. Many of you are in a church, a local congregation, and fellowship of believers. (If you are not a member of a Bible-believing, local church, you should hang your head in shame; for your pride seems to be a stronger edict than God's Word.) Setbacks, sufferings, and sin will take place in your walk with the Lord. I wonder, what would it take to get you to quit His church?
There are those who have quit church because of the unfriendliness of believers. Others have quit church because of embarrassment over children or spouses. Even some believers have quit church because a high standard for personal holiness was upheld. I know of some who quit church because they did not get their way in God’s house. (This has always perplexed me. Since it is God’s house, should He not get His way?)
What would it take to make you drop out of church? Ruth knew when she started the race that it would be a race worth finishing. Have you made up your mind, like Ruth, to run and not drop out?
Think about it...