Good Sportsmanship, Great Sacrifice (Ruth 1:16-17)

In this day of ultra-competitive sports and academics, I am thankful that high morals and values still abound. This touching story shows what can happen when true sportsmanship and character trump any thought of winning or losing.

The unselfish actions of the opposing team are truly commendable. A true sacrifice always means giving up some reward or delaying gratification for oneself. The Bible is full of amazing people who sacrificed their goals and desires on behalf of another.

Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother- in- law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, “Look, your sister- in- law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister- in- law.”
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.
Ruth 1:16-17

Ruth was a Moabite, considered an outsider and alien to the Jews. She chose to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, a Jew, even after Ruth’s husband had died and she had no legal or familial obligations to stay with her. By staying, Ruth would most certainly be treated as an outcast, in spite of her relationship to Naomi. But she remained loyal to Naomi and to serve the God that she now believed in. In essence, she sacrificed her entire identity. And how did God reward her sacrifice? Ruth married Boaz, a distant relative of Naomi’s, and became the great grandmother of King David. Ruth is in the blessed family line of our Lord Jesus Christ!

God sees our sacrifices and knows the true motives of our hearts. God’s mercy and goodness are unceasing. And God does honor great sacrifices.

Aloha blessings!