Women of the Bible: RUTH


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 born in the land of Moab, a border nation and frequent enemy of Israel. Ruth was a Gentile. When famine struck the land of Judah, Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, journeyed from their home in Bethlehem to Moab for relief.  Elimelech died in Moab.  Mahlon married Ruth in Moab while Kilion married Orpah.  After about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion died. Ruth, out of love and loyalty to her mother-in-law, accompanied Naomi back to Bethlehem, while Orpah stayed in Moab.

There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz. So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” (Ruth 2: 1-5)

Naomi steered Ruth into a relationship with a distant relative named Boaz and Ruth trusted Naomi. Boaz married Ruth and took her in, rescuing her from the sad life of a widow in ancient times. Remarkably, Ruth abandoned her lifelong home and her pagan gods and she became a Jew by choice. 

What can we learn from Ruth:

* Ruth was an incredibly kind, loyal and caring woman and she had great her concern for others over herself. She could have gone off to her own family, instead she chose to stay and devote her time to her mother-in-law (Naomi). She took care of her as if she was her own mother. God rewarded her for her deep love and loyalty to Naomi, with the security of marriage and children and that in turn secured Naomi's older years too. Ruth had no idea that by helping Naomi she would eventually become a blessing in her own life.

Even if  you are not fond of your mother-in-law, make the effort, reach out and make her important in your life, not for any reward, but because, like Ruth, its the Godly thing to do. 

* Ruth was a courageous woman, she was a foreigner living in a strange land where the language and culture would have been very different to her own. Furthermore, she was poor and utterly dependent on the charity of others and being two women on their own, this would have been even harder.  She worked gleaming in the fields which would have been a difficult and back-breaking task — but she did it regardless.  We too may have to do difficult tasks at time even if we don't enjoy them. Think of those women who go off to work when they would rather be at home — God is very much in their lives watching over them as they go about their daily activities and in time will be rewarded for their faith in God, just as He rewarded Ruth. 

* Her desire to follow the Lord and leave behind her old pagan ways — doing the right thing is not always easy but is the best way to honor God.  Ruth made her choice and never looked back.

* None of these things would have been on Ruth's radar as she was planning her life — we often dream about our future then reality arrives and our dreams evaporate and our lives take a sharp turn to the left. God is in control and just as he intervened in Ruth and Naomi's lives, He does he same in ours. 

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David. (Ruth 4:13-22)

Women of the Bible links: 
Sarah

Comments

  1. Ruth is a good example to us! To trust God and go into the unknown... Wow, she was so incredible!!! Of course we are not given her thoughts, so we don't know her thoughts, but it would appear from her actions that she was able to love and then be at peace, no matter what happened. May we be more trusting!!!

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    1. The fact she was dedicated to her mother-in-law (Naomi must have been a very kind woman) and didn't go home showed what type of person she was. She didn't pick the easy road, just the right one and that is a great message to us all - we generally like to take the easy path but often that isn't the one we should take and not the one God is directing us down. Ruth is certainly a woman we can be more like.

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  2. Have read Ruth many times, but have never thought that Ruth and Orpah were sisters. Were is the evidence that they were sisters? Emma

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    1. Hi Emma, Its interesting because some commentators say they are sisters, even though the bible doesn't make this clear. I have taken that part out of the blog - I always assumed they were, but you are right, it isn't clear and one should never assume these things :)

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    2. Commentators are just that, they weren't there. I always believe it is best to take the plain meaning of Scripture when possible. Often if we look at a passage we should go to other passages in Scripture for clarificatrion before going to a commentator. Cheers. Emma

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    3. However, I think the most significant part of this isn't whether they were sisters or even related, it was that Ruth choose the right path and Orpah did not and why Orpah made this decision - which of course we don't know as nothing more is written about her.

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  3. You have a very pretty blog layout! I'm visiting from your link in our Facebook group. Love Ruth's story--it never gets old.

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    1. Thankyou so much - I am doing a series through out the year - I have already written a number of them and have personally learnt so much, I do hope others find them useful too. I love Ruth's story :)

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  4. I always enjoy reading about Ruth! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    God bless,
    Patty

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    1. I am really enjoying reading about the women in the bible, each one has quite a different message for us - Ruth's is a wonderful story :)

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  5. I love the account of Ruth! I'm putting a letter in the mail today :) I hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2017/01/happy-homemaker-monday-12317.html

    Colletta

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    1. :) I can't wait - don't get many letters these days!!

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  6. There was a quote from the book of Ruth read when my husband and I were married, 20 years ago this year! :O)

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    1. That sounds like a lovely idea at a wedding. Thanks for dropping by :)

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