Happy Saturday everyone! Let me just say I am SUPER happy this week has come to a close. It was the longest week ever. Not that it wasn’t fun, just that it took forever. However, as I am writing this post, I am sitting in bed because of a fog delay and praise Jesus because this extra time was much MUCH needed!
If you guys saw last Saturday’s post, you’ll be pleased to know that this weekend’s post follows that same topic: The women of the Bible. I’m collaborating with Loved by the King and am excited to share a little bit about Ruth!
I’m not sure how familiar you are with Ruth’s story… but let me tell you if you haven’t read it recently you have to crack open your Bible and dive right in. Her story is so amazing and one that we all can learn from. Male or female, adult or teenager, and even new or seasoned Christians can take things from this story.
The scene is set in Ruth 1. A mother of two, married, sons is faced with a very hard trial. Her husband and both sons pass away. She is left as a widow and the mother-in-law of two Moabite women. As you can image, this was very crushing for Naomi (the mother).
In this pain, Naomi decided to send her two daughter-in-laws back to their hometown. Naomi wants them to have a better life and attempt to remarry. Ruth and Orpah (the two daughter-in-laws) both respond in very different ways.
Orpah kisses her mother-in-law and leaves. Ruth stays.
Now I’m not saying that Oprah is terrible or the bad example in this story. Her response was expected and accepted in this situation. She left because her ties to the family passed away. She was no longer part of the family and thus could go back to her home.
But the unexpected was acted out by Ruth. Ruth cried out to Naomi and pledged her allegiance to her (Ruth 1:16-17).
“But Ruth replied: Don’t plead with me to abandon you or to return and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people and your God will be my God.”
When I read this, I was first struck by how selfless Ruth was. How dedicate she was, and how much of a commitment she was making. No amount of begging would convince Ruth to leave Naomi’s side. Craziness.
Then something dawned on me. Do I speak to God like this? Am I this flexible with my life. Will I live wherever He wants me to live? Will HIs people be my people? And honestly, my response would have looked more like this,
“I want to stay with you. I want to be here for you and give glory to you. But I really like where I live, maybe I can just write to you every so often. I really like my people so I’ll just stick with them. But I promise to pray for other people… I just won’t make them my people.”
That sounds terrible. But I honestly think that is what our hearts and minds would have us say in this situation. We want to be like Ruth and selflessly cling to God and drop everything else. But it is so so hard.
It gets better, Ruth actually acts on these intense promises. Those intense promises are so all-encompassing because it was a decision to follow the God of Israel. When Ruth said, “Your God will be my God,” she was accepting the true God into her heart. She took a big step and ultimately changed the course of history.
After a very long journey, Naomi and Ruth made their way to Bethlehem. Naomi remembered that she had a distant relative on her husband’s side names Boaz. In Ruth 2:2 Ruth makes her way to a nearby field where she could harvest some grain.
And here is my favorite verse of Ruth. Ruth 2:3
“So Ruth left and entered the field to gather grain behind the Harvesters. She happened to be in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from Elimelech’s [husband of Naomi] family.”
I love that word “happened”. Ruth just so happened to be in the portion of the field that belonged to the single man related to Naomi. It just cracks me up how God orchestrated this story. It has everything. Hardships, dedication, faithfulness, revelations, and a love story. With each part pointing to our relationship with Jesus.
As we continue into Ruth 2, we see how Boaz protects Ruth. He makes a way for her and makes sure she has enough food and is safe. Boaz gave Ruth things she didn’t deserve. She was not of high standing and didn’t deserve this kind of treatment. But, as Boaz says, “her reputation preceded her.” Her acts of faithfulness and selflessness had been talked about.
And just as Boaz was God’s provision for Ruth, Jesus is God’s provision for us. Boaz and Ruth’s story is just like how Jesus protected us and gave us a new life.
Chapter 3 starts out with so much hope. Ruth was only able to marry Boaz, only if he was in her lineage. And of course, since our God is a good God, Boaz was able to be married to Ruth. Boaz was called the “Covenant Redeemer.” Just as Boaz intervened in Ruth’s life, to be her redeemer, Jesus acts in the same way with us.
When people say that God works for good and that everything He does has a purpose, oh friends, you better believe it. I mean look at this, a woman who walked through so much hurt and disappointment is now experiencing God’s faithfulness. And we see, as the chapter continues, the moment Ruth had been waiting for. She was going to meet Boaz, just as God had promised.
Ruth 3:5, “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.
Ruth was willing to do whatever was asked of her, in order that God’s promises come to life. Even if that meant being a little uncomfortable.
What do you think was going through her mind, as she put herself out there in front of Boaz? I can only imagine, thoughts such as, “What if I get rejected?” “What if this is not right for me?” and the list goes on. But we can learn something from Ruth, that if God promises, he will not delay His promises. Be willing to do whatever God calls you to, in order that you walk in the fullness of His promises.
And of course, you can all predict what happens next… Boaz falls for Ruth. Not only in a romantic way, but for her character and faithfulness to her mother-in-law. He respected her and promised to care of her and Naomi for as long as they lived. This story is so simple, yet so beautiful. As Ruth remained faithful to Naomi, God remained faithful to Ruth. He provided for her, allowed her to walk through the valley just so He could display His mighty strength in her. God used a foreigner, poor widow, and outcast to show how He uses ANYONE if you are willing to do whatever God calls you too. I am praying over all of you who read this, that you would believe in God’s promises. That you would truly trust in the valley, that God is making things into good. Believe. Trust. Walk. The God that was so faithful in Ruth’s life, is working in you! God doesn’t delay His promises to His dearly beloved children.
XOXO, The Christian Prepster & Loved by the King