True conversion – leaving the old life behind
One of the most powerful and touching narratives in the Old Testament concerns a young woman from the land of Moab who had married one of the sons of a man called Elimelech from Bethlehem, Judah. In the process of time, the woman’s father-in-law, brother-in-law and husband all died tragically. This caused the woman’s mother-in-law, Naomi, to set out to return to her homeland, the town of Bethlehem.
Naomi spoke to Ruth and her sister-in-law, Orpah. She pleaded with them not to go with her to Bethlehem, but to stay in their homeland, with their respective families and in familiar surrounds. However, Ruth resolutely refused to accede to her mother-in-laws pleadings. She made one of the most profound and moving statements of commitment and loyalty ever made; saying, ‘Don’t turn me back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people and your God will be my God.’ In that moment and with those words she had made a decision to enter into a new life. She had moved from the old into the new. Hers is a perfect example of true conversion. Her resolution had been noted by God to whom she had sworn undying loyalty. She had in fact made a fresh start.
The end of Ruth’s story is a beautiful and happy one. God gave her a husband and blessed her with a male child, by the name of Obed, the grandfather of David, Israel’s greatest king.
Her decision had realigned her life with the purpose of God. He changed her storyline; re- aligned her destiny, because she chose to walk the pathway of faith, loyalty and commitment, leaving behind the old life and embracing the new.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
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