The stirring love story of Ruth and her redeemer is set within the wheat fields of Boaz during the harvest season. The wheat crop in Israel is ripe by the time of Pentecost. Pentecost is an agricultural festival that celebrates the wheat harvest. Because of the wheat harvest connection, it is traditional to read the book of Ruth on Pentecost.
Pentecost is the day when we remember the Torah being spoken at Mount Sinai in all the languages of the world in Exodus 19 and 20. Torah is God's call to covenant for all nations. Pentecost is also the day when we remember the believers speaking in the all the languages of the world in Acts chapter 2. As with the Torah, the Gospel is God's call to covenant for all nations.
In view of these things, it is significant that the story of Ruth is read on Pentecost. Ruth is the story of a gentile taking hold of her share in the Torah and finding a place among the people of God. Ruth's story is our story as we gentile disciples leave behind our former lives and follow after the Master.
When the gentile Ruth declares her intent to go with Naomi, she says, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
These words demonstrate the heart of a true disciple. Ruth was willing to leave all the comforts of her homeland and her native religion in order to pursue her only connection to the God of Israel.
As we read the megillah of Ruth this Pentecost, let us fix our eyes on Messiah. We should strive for the same devotion to the Master that Ruth showed to Naomi.
Don't urge me to leave you. May he strengthen our faith and resolve so that we do not stray after our eyes or after our hearts. May our eyes be fixed on Messiah alone. May our hearts be consumed with Yeshua.
Or to turn back from you. May we never turn back to our old ways, old habits, old values. May we never return to the things that separate us from the Master.
Where you go I will go. Let his words be our road map. Obedience to his commandments is our destination.
And where you stay I will stay. We must learn to imitate his person and his actions. We must conform ourselves to his example.
Your people will be my people. Let us humbly accept that he has made us a part of his nation Israel. May we recognize all Jews as kinsmen.
And your God will be my God. May we know the same intimacy and unity with the Father that the Master knows. May we show the same reverence and perfect obedience to the Father that the Master showed.
Where you die I will die. Let us be immersed with him in his death. We must take up our crosses daily and follow after him.
And there I will be buried. May we be raised to newness of life with him. May we leave our tombs empty behind us.