Ruth finds herself in the company of sorrow. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, and sister-in-law have lost their husbands as well. The three of them are left to pick up the pieces of their lives. Naomi decides to go home—back to the land of Judah—and her daughters-in-law follow. Somewhere along the journey, one of them decides to turn back. However, Ruth journeys on with Naomi. There is nothing left for her in Moab. She no longer has a dream to hold on to and no clue as to what her future holds. She is weary and everything is a blur. What she doesn’t realize is that she is actually being drawn by the God of Israel, the Giver of Dreams.
The journey is long and hard, but these two brave women make their way back to Bethlehem. Ruth, wanting to take care of Naomi, gleans in the field of a man named Boaz. He notices her diligence and faithfulness to Naomi in the face of all she has lost, and he commends her. Boaz implores Ruth to stay in his field; he will provide for her and protect her. Boaz is a near relative to Naomi—a kinsman redeemer. When Naomi realizes this and hears of the favor Boaz shows Ruth, she instructs her to go to Boaz at the harvest, on the threshing floor.
Ruth and Naomi wait. Boaz awaits the other relative’s arrival and offers him the right to redeem the two women. During this time, Ruth must be struggling with insecurities; she is a foreigner, a heathen, and much younger than Boaz. Why would a respectable man redeem her? Why would he want to marry her? What could she possibly offer him for such redemption? Yet when the other relative forfeits his right of redemption, Boaz redeems Ruth. They marry and have a child named Obed—the great grandfather to King David.
Ruth had lost everything before coming to Bethlehem. The Bible is silent about her family, but obviously there was nothing left for her in Moab. So she took her chances and followed her mother-in-law to a strange land. She came from Moab to Bethlehem a poor widow, a foreigner gleaning in the field of Boaz. When she arrived as a beggar, she never imagined she would be the wife of the field’s owner.
God’s grace is unfathomable to us. How He can take what we perceive as a small, insignificant life, and use it for His glory! God had a plan for Ruth, even when she didn’t know Him and life had drained all of her hope. God does the same for you and me. He has a plan for our lives—He gives us dreams, even when we cannot dream for ourselves.
God chose Ruth for a very special purpose. He needed someone to marry Boaz and keep the line of Judah, the line of the Messiah, from ceasing from the earth. He needed the perfect woman to be the great grandmother of King David. He did not choose a righteous Jewish girl like Mary, a princess of promise like Sarah, or a warrior princess like Deborah. He saw and chose an obscure, Gentile widow full of sorrow and grief, and gave her a dream. Ruth has a book in the Bible dedicated to her life; she is one of only four women found in the genealogy of Christ.
This article was originally published in SHINE Magazine 9th Edition
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