The book of Ruth is easily one of my favorite books in the Bible. There are many reasons why I love this book, some of which include the acceptance given, the relationships established, the actions taken, the Godly characteristics, and the purpose of life. To me, it is so much more than that simple little love story between Ruth and Boaz that we may see right off the bat.
The Acceptance Given
Naomi, her husband Elimelek, and their two sons left Bethlehem because there was a famine. They went to Moab and lived among the Moabites. Moab was one of the nations that oppressed the Israelites during the period of the judges. These two nations were hostile towards each other, and the Moabites did not worship God. Yet Naomi’s sons married Moabite women. Upon the deaths of the two sons and Elimelek, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go home, so that God would grant that they find rest in the home of another husband. But this is what I love!
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Wherever you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." Ruth 1:16
Your God will be my God. Ruth worshipped God and being a Moabite did not stop her. And guess what? God accepted her! God accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right (Acts 10:35). He accepts anyone who worships him. I do not care what your background is, what you have done, your status, race, whatever. If you open your heart to God, He will never turn away. His acceptance of you will always be given! He loves you!
The Relationships Established
"Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. – Ruth 1:17-18
These verses right here, let me tell you! Naomi was going to go back to Bethlehem, she had nobody, or nothing to return to. She was not even sure what to expect upon arriving back, yet Ruth was like, “I am going with you.” Wow! That is the type of relationship I want with others. In a way, it kind of reminds me of David and John’s relationship. Ruth chose Naomi over the security of her parent’s home, and the potential of another husband. She up and left everything to go with Naomi who had nothing or could provide nothing to Ruth. Their bond was inseparable. And oh, how they have helped each other! Naomi helped Ruth regarding Boaz, and Ruth provided Naomi a redeemer through the son she bore. These two women have such a pure love for each other!
We need someone in our life like that. Someone who will drop everything and be with us. Especially in our time of need. We need someone who loves us with such pure love that does not expect anything in return. Someone who does not go, “how can this relationship benefit me?” Better yet, let Naomi and Ruth’s relationship be an example of how we can be towards those in our lives! Let’s be that friend!
The Actions Taken
Upon returning to Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth had nothing. But instead of waiting for God to provide, Ruth took the first step.
And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, "Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor." Naomi said to her, "Go ahead, my daughter. "So she went out, entered a field, and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. – Ruth 2:2-3
God may be waiting for us to humbly take the first step. And when we do, we have to trust that God will lead us along the way. Do you think it was a coincidence that Ruth happened to work in Boaz’s field? There are times we must wait on the Lord, but there are also times we must act on the Lord. Do you trust God to provide when you act?
The Godly Characteristics
"At mealtime, Boaz said to her (Ruth), "Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar." When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, "Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her." – Ruth 2:14-16
How much do you do for others? Do you go above and beyond what is expected? Boaz did. So does Jesus. Boaz was filled with kindness and generosity. He provided Ruth and Naomi out of his abundance. Such Godly characteristics in action! It is a wonderful example of how we should be. We should always do, give, and provide more than the minimum required. Let’s do above and beyond for others and show them just how much we can love.
The Purpose of Life
Naomi was devastated by her loss. Ruth left everything behind her to go with a woman who had nothing. I wonder how many times both Ruth and Naomi wondered why? What was the purpose? Was there even a purpose for their lives? What is God up to? Maybe you wonder that at times too. What is God’s purpose for my life, for this situation? But here is the thing, Boaz became the guardian-redeemer to Ruth and Naomi. Ruth gave birth to a son named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of David. Who is the son of David? Jesus Christ.
Next time you ask, “What is my purpose?”, know that you may never fully know. You may never fully know until you look back on your life from eternity. Ruth did not know that her son would eventually lead to Jesus’ birth. But do know this, God has a significance for you, for your life. Your life is important, and you do have a purpose. Just live in faithfulness to God, you do not know what he has in store!
I am sorry for the long post this time. But, I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! God Bless!