We are going to start our study off with Ruth. She is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the Bible, not to mention one of the most faithful. Her name means “friendship” or “something worth seeing” which I believe says a lot about her especially if you already know her story.
The story of Ruth takes place in Ruth ch. 1-4
Characteristics of Ruth:
- Her Joy: She was able to experience God’s love first hand and how he can provide for his people, She has a new home with a new husband that loves her very much
- Her Sorrow: She lost everything
- Her Character: Loyal, Loving, and Generous, able to handle tough situations with faith and wisdom
Can you imagine what Ruth must have been thinking when she decided to follow Naomi into Bethlehem? She was putting her future and her faith in God that everything would work out. Have you ever just wholeheartedly just said to God “Here you Go?” As we look deeper into the story because she was faithful in the small things, such as following Naomi and trusting that God would take care of even their smallest need like food. God knew that he could trust her with the big things.
Ruth had made a covenant to Naomi and God when she spoke her famous words in Ruth 1:16-17
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you did 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.-NIV
In Old Testament times the order in which she said it meant a great deal. First she was telling Namoi and the people of Israel she was not going anywhere and she was in for life. Next she was telling God that no matter what I am yours Lord and I trust you with my life.
As she was gleaning in the fields each day Boaz was watching and discerning her character. He asked about her from others as to who she belonged to and was told she was Naomi’s daughter in-law. Boaz then approached her and asked her not to go into another’s field but to stay in his. He also instructed his workers to leave her alone and to leave more grain for her. Ruth’s reputation preceded her, so when she approached Boaz one night and laid down at his feet to secure her protection, Boaz was more than willing to marry her. There was a Jewish law that the nearest relation would marry the widow of his relative. Boaz was not the closest in relation, there was another man who was a closer relative. Boaz went to this man and told him of the connection but the man did not want to marry, he was free to marry Ruth.
Boaz became known as the kinsman-redeemer to Ruth from this point on. This is also what the Messiah would later be called. Their family line is also where the Messiah would come out of. God is not a God of mistakes, nor is he late in providing just what we need. There is always a purpose. See Ruth 4:18-22 and Matthew 1:1-16 for the complete lineage of Christ.
Can you think what she felt like being married again, the fields of Naomi’s family restored, and now she has a son? Pure joy I would think! Has there been a time in your life when something was taken away and then replaced with something else far better than you even hoped for? Did your faith/walk with God grow in that time? How does faith influence actions?