True assimilation

Many of us are familiar with these two moving immigrant stories: A teenager named Joseph is forced to leave his parents and family when his older brothers, in a fit of jealousy, sell him into slavery in another country. After a series of trials that test his character, Joseph is introduced to Pharaoh, who makes him the second most powerful man in Egypt. As a result of Joseph’s inspired leadership, the Egyptians, as well as his own family, are spared great suffering during a prolonged period of famine in the region (see Genesis, chapters 37–45).

A young widow named Ruth, expressing loyalty toward her mother-in-law, Naomi, decides she will return with her to Israel, the country of her mother-in-law’s birth, after their husbands have passed on. Over her mother-in-law’s protestations that Ruth remain with “her people,” Ruth insists, “Wherever you go, I will go; ... Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:15, 16, New King James Version). In Israel, Ruth begins a new life and gains a new sense of purpose, and she finds a husband, Boaz, by all accounts a good and loving man.

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January 27, 2014

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