Ruth 1:16 “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”
We know Ruth as the quintessential representative of the grace of God. We see her as a type of the sinner who has found complete redemption and restoration in Christ. But, we also see a bit of the missionary in her.
Ruth said to Naomi, “Where you go I will go.” The missionary says the same thing essentially. “Where the Spirit of Christ leads me, I will go.” Whether it’s to the heat of the tropics or the frozen polar regions or the crazy metropolises of this world, God calls His people and they, like Ruth, faithfully follow Him to the ends of the earth.
Ruth also said, “Where you live that’s where I am going to live.” It’s one thing to visit a place. It’s quite another thing to go there with all of your belongings and a one way ticket. It may seem romantic at the outset, but a sober reality of permanency will soon set in. Missionaries do this! They leave all and follow Christ; they flee away from family and friends and familiar things.
Finally, Ruth said, “The foreigner, no matter how different they may be, will be my people.” The missionary that is in a cross-cultural ministry eventually settles with the same conviction. At first the people seem wonderfully hospitable and their culture intriguing. But the rose-colored glasses soon come off. Ultimately a missionary realizes that his people are actually sinners, ugly and unfamiliar sinners at that. But then, after an intense struggle, the missionary embraces those ugly people with the love of Christ and prays, “Thy people shall be my people.”
It was the grace of God that led Ruth to and kept her with the people of God and His Tabernacle. It is the grace of God that leads you and I across the world to minister for His sake. It is the grace of God that will keep us. 1 Thessalonians 5:28, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”