Her name means companion or friend, and she was certainly that! How we all long for a friend like Ruth! She is the only woman in the Bible, except for Esther, that has her own book. Though it's only four short chapters, there is much to learn from her. If you haven't read this story yet, you should do it now. Go ahead, I'll wait! :)
Isn't is an amazing story? Ruth is very impressive. A woman of virtue and noble character.
Let's go over some of the things that make up Ruth's character and what makes her story so amazing!
. . .
She was a Foreigner
Ruth was a Moabite woman being one of the descendants of Lot through his firstborn daughter. The Moabites were a pagan nation and looked down on by the people of Israel, which is the family she married into.
Because of this, it's amazing that Ruth decided to stay with her Mother In-Law, Naomi, to go back to Naomi's native land now that they were left without Husbands to care for them. Ruth most likely knew that traveling back to Bethlehem wasn't going to be easy. She was a foreigner, an outsider. She was sure to get a lot of interesting looks and comments, but this didn't stop Ruth from staying by Naomi's side.
She was Loyal
Though Naomi's sons married outside of their people, it seems that in this case, Ruth was won over by their faith in the Almighty God.
Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
How is that for loyalty?! Till death do you part with your Mother in-law?! (-I happen to have an amazing Mother in-law and I'm not just saying that in case she's reading this! haha)
What's amazing about this is that she was prepared to go the distance with Naomi. To live with her and care for her.
She had good Work Ethic
Ruth2:1Now Naomi had a relative of her husband's, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.”
She didn't sit idly by and beg, she went out and worked, and worked hard.
Ruth2:5Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”
She had good Character
Even though she was a foreigner, her heart and actions stood out more. Everyone knew she was a Moabite woman, but a Moabite woman with noble character.
10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
She was Obedient and Responsible
When Naomi suggested that she go to Boaz to see if he would redeem her, she didn't hesitate. She did all that Naomi said, just as she said.
Not only did she have a good heart, she also had a good head on her shoulders. When she talked with Boaz he said:
Ruth 3:10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.
She could have decided to try to please herself, but instead she held to the customs of Naomi's people and redeem their bloodline through Boaz, Elimelech's (Naomi's Husband) relative.
Because of this she blessed her Mother in-law, Naomi. Here's what the women had to say to Naomi after Ruth gave birth to Obed:
14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
Worth more than seven sons. Wow. In a time where sons were quite valued and important, that is a very amazing thing to be said about about a woman!
She was part of God's Plan
Little did Ruth know she would be the great grandmother of King David, the man after God's own heart. Little did she know she was going to be one of the three women listed in the lineage of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
. . .
It just goes to show that no matter who you are or where you are at, if you are open and receptive to him, God can use you for his purpose and plan!
This beautiful story of Ruth can be applied to us today.
We, like Ruth, are outsiders and gentiles. When we are born again, we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ!
What a beautiful story of God's grace, love, and redemption, and what a beautiful example Ruth has set for us of how to live!
We don't always know why we go through hard times. Perhaps the famine happened so that Naomi's family would move to Moab so her son would marry Ruth. Perhaps their husbands died so they would move back for Boaz to marry Ruth resulting in the lineage down to Jesus. God's way can be interesting and confusing, but one thing is for sure, if you honor him, he will honor you.
~Allison from Little Big Blessings
Allison is a Wife and Mother to two beautiful, spunky little girls! She lives in Alaska and loves camping, boating, and fishing with her family. She enjoys photography and is always taking pictures of her girls and God's beautiful creation! What she loves most of all is the Lord and sharing Him with the world!