“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. 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 die 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.” Ruth 1:16-18.
Ruth had come from a wrong culture – the Moabites. Moabites descended from the family of Lot. And the tribe was cursed because of what Lot’s daughters did. Therefore, Ruth was hewn from bad stock, and her future would be probably bleak and gloomy. If you met Ruth and asked her where she comes from, perhaps she would just switch off.
Ruth got married to Hebrews; the chosen ones. This sounds strange! How could a Hebrew young man marry a Moabites?
The other son of Naomi married Orpah. However, tragedy soon struck, and they were widows; three widows with nothing and nowhere to go. This should be one of the saddest stories in the Bible. Naomi was now an old lady.
Ruth had now graduated from a gloomy past to bleak present and blight future was staring at her.
Orpah bid her mother-in-law farewell. Naomi pleaded with Ruth to follow the footsteps of Orpah. Ruth was adamant and resolved never to go back to her homeland. This was strange; stranger than fiction. How could Ruth go to Bethlehem the country of the Hebrews?
To the people of Bethlehem, Ruth was a pagan stranger that had no relations aside from her mother-in-law, and certainly no man to speak for her. She was hard-pressed to find food for Naomi and herself. She went out to the fields to glean wheat and found a field that belonged to a man named Boaz. She worked hard and only stopped to rest once or twice, for fear of trouble from the men in the field.
This was a hard life; Hustling, bustling and suffering. The life that many widows and single mothers go through to make ends meet – tough life. These are strong women. No politician will descend from the high seat to come and feed your family. The strength of a woman is found deep down inside and not often by the shallow eyes of a man.
To Ruth, life might have been ‘One step ahead, five steps back’. The story goes on……………….
And finally, Ruth got married to Boaz.
Ruth became an ancestor of David. David was the greatest king of Israel. From Ruth, not only did we get David but also Jesus of Nazareth. This man Jesus changed the course of the history of this world. And He is Alpha and Omega.
So, in a nutshell, what do we glean from Ruth’s story?
- Burst out of the prison called ‘past.’
- Have faith in God.
- Nurture and value great character.
- Believe that redemption is possible.
- Leave a legacy.
- Setbacks could be your launching pad to splendour.
- The life of the godly is not a level line to glory, but they do get there; courtesy of God’s providence.