why did she not go back?

This is one of those questions that doesn’t have an answer {at least not one we can be sure of}. You’re simply supposed to use your powers of speculation. Easy.

Why did Ruth choose to go with Naomi? Why did she not go back to Moab?

why did she not go back

I’ve spent much time in the book of Ruth in recent days, and I’m still asking this question. Which is why I say it’s time to speculate. I don’t think there’s a clear answer, but I do think it’s helpful and important to imagine what Ruth’s reasons might have been.

It makes sense that she would choose to go back to her homeland. Even Naomi urged her to go back. If there was anything in Ruth that made her feel obligated to her mother-in-law, it should have been dispelled when Naomi said, “Please go back.” Orpah knew how to think logically. Why couldn’t Ruth just accept the reality of the situation and move on? As far as Ruth could see, there was nothing in Bethlehem that would make her life better. Whereas, back in Moab, she would have her family, her home, and her heritage. Familiarity. Comfort.

You’re right. Ruth’s decision doesn’t make sense.

So, I’m looking for your speculations.

#1. Is there something in the text which indicates why Ruth did what she did? It’s a short, 4-chapter book. Take 15 minutes and refresh your memory. Can you find any inkling of a reason for Ruth’s “clinging” to Naomi?

#2. If you were Ruth, why would you choose to go with your widowed mother-in-law to a foreign land? Could there be selfish reasons or purely selfless ones? What do you think was going on in Ruth’s mind?

Okay, fire away. I’ll take a turn in the next post.

[image credit: wikipedia commons, journeyoftheword.com]

One thought on “why did she not go back?

  1. Other than the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I don’t know. In what ways did the Spirit lead her: probably love and God’s Word given directly or through Naomi’s example.

    Ruth 1:15-17
    15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
    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:
    17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

    It seems she saw a difference between the gods of Moab and the true God, the God of Naomi and Israel. So, she loved her mother in law, and seemed to be convicted to also serve God with her rather than the gods of Moab with her sister in law.


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