Monday, April 9, 2012


If you have never read the book of Ruth, I encourage you to do so. It's a short book - four chapters - but it contains a wonderful story.

The story begins with tragedy: An Israelite man, woman (Naomi), and their two sons travel to Moab. After a time, Naomi's husband dies. Her two sons marry Moabite women and they live there together for about 10 years. Then her two sons die. Naomi decides to sojourn back to her hometown, giving permission for her two widowed daughter-in-laws to remain in Moab (their home land) to start a new life with new husbands. One of the daughter-in-laws, Ruth, refuses to leave Naomi's side. Ruth promises to go with Naomi, make Naomi's people her people, and Naomi's God her God. And so they return to Bethlehem.

In that time, widows were in danger of taking care of themselves, because they did not have a husband to provide for and protect them. So Ruth goes out to a field to gather scraps from a harvest to feed them both, but the field she happened upon belonged to a relative of Naomi's family, Boaz. Boaz took kindly to Ruth, and gave her more than she could have collected for herself from the scraps. Eventually Boaz and Ruth marry and have a son. It "just so happens" to be that Boaz and Ruth are the great-grandparents of David, as in THE David.

The part I want to focus on in this story is Ruth's faithfulness and the apparent reward she received because of her faithfulness. Ruth could have easily left Naomi like the other daughter-in-law and started fresh in her home land. But she didn't. She chose to give up the comfort and security of her home, and go with a woman who wasn't even her true family. She chose to give up her culture and beliefs for an entirely new one. She is a remarkable example of faith - and keeping that faith in the midst of tragedy and hardship. God rewarded her faith by watching over her path every step of the way. She "happened" to seek food from the field that belonged to the only man in the area who could redeem her (in that time, only a relative could redeem a family inheritance). And that man was willing and able to marry her and restore that family lineage. This foreign woman, Ruth, was so faithful that she became a part of the genealogy of Christ.

When Ruth and Boaz were married, Ruth 4:13 says:
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.

I don't know why it says that the Lord enabled her to conceive, unless it meant that she was barren or perhaps past the natural childbearing age (which is possible if she had been married 10 years before she first lost her husband). Whatever the reason, it's beautiful to see that the Lord rewarded her faith with a child. It encourages me to not give up faith, no matter what hardships come my way.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of our Savior!

No comments:

Post a Comment