Naomi and Elimelech along with their two sons (Mahlon and Chilion) decide to migrate to Moab fearing drought and famine in Israel during the time of Judges. (Ruth 1:1-3) They were chasing a dream of sufficiency and prosperity in Moab. The result was disastrous. A woman of grit and confidence, she got her two sons married. Alas, both sons died. Naomi, Orpah and Ruth became a team of three widows.
As she hears about rains and harvest in Israel, Naomi decides to return back to Israel. It can be termed as reverse migration. Naomi suggested that the two daughters-in-law go back to their respective homes. Orpah the younger returns home while Ruth the older decides to cling to Naomi.
Ruth migrates to Israel along with Naomi, who went through several misfortunes. Naomi experienced three deaths within a span of ten years. Yet, Ruth chooses to go along with Naomi to Israel. Was she pursuing a worldly dream like Naomi? There were no dramatic wonders or miracles in the life of Naomi. Probably, Ruth only saw how Naomi handled her situation with an attitude undergirded by faith.
It was the ‘faith migration’ of Ruth in pursuit of truth as her statement clarifies: “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. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” (Ruth 1:16-17) Ruth understood it is worth dying to die knowing God and truth.
When people blessed Naomi, they said that Ruth is equal to seven sons. If Ruth is one of the ancestors listed for the Messiah, the contribution of Naomi as spiritual mentor, who also understood God as Redeemer, Renown and Restorer, could not be ignored. (Ruth 4: 15)
What do we pursue, worldly dreams or truth and God’s will?