And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge…
It is the difference between feeling and principle in religion, between emotion and consecration, kissing and cleaving.
I. EMOTION HAS ITS LARGE APPOINTED PLACE IN LIFE. It is the colour and fragrance of the soul's world. It gives both impulse and reward to action. Emotion has great play in religion. God appeals to it. The character of God is so presented as to excite our emotions. We tremble at His awfulness, adore His greatness. The story of Christ's life and death has power to move us beyond all else. The insensible heart is usually a selfish heart. But —
II. EMOTION WILL NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF CONSECRATION. Here distinguish between sensuous and spiritual impressions. There is a peace, a rapture, which the Spirit breathes into the believing soul, the promised manifestation of Christ to him "that hath My commandments and keepeth them." This is the reward of obedience, not its substitute; is not of nature, but of grace. No degree of feeling about religious things is religion. Natural fondness toward God, as toward parents, may be the mere delight of an emotional nature, a snare to the soul and an affront to Him. What joy to Christ that eyes which overflow for a novel or a play should moisten at the story of Calvary? There is need of searchings of heart and stings of conscience in unsuspected places. Orpah and Ruth feel alike, love alike, but part for ever at the test of following.
III. THE TRUE OFFICE OF EMOTION IS TO DRAW TO CONSECRATION. Feeling is for the sake of following. The Church has still no realm of mightier influence than a consecrated home. The heaviest condemnation of many in the day of judgment will be that they resisted the influences and withstood the prayers of a godly home.
IV. CHOOSING GOD IS PROVED BY CHOOSING, GOD'S PEOPLE. The world estimates our relation to Christ by our relation to His followers. Yet it often seems as if men must be twice converted, first to Christ, and again to His Church. Do not let this woman's devotion shame us. She gave up, literally, all her world for God. True devotion to Christ turns to His Church with Ruth's matchless consecration.
(Charles M. Southgate.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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:
WEB: Ruth said, "Don't entreat me to leave you, and to return from following after 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;