Ruth was a young woman from Moab. She was married to an Israelite whose family moved to Moab to escape the famine in Israel. Ruth’s husband had a brother who was also married to a Moabite woman, Oprah. Along with their wives, the two Israelite men were also accompanied by their parents, Elimelech and Naomi. As tragedy hits, we discover that Naomi is not only left as a widow, but she also loses her 2 sons. With the men in their lives gone, Ruth, Naomi, and Oprah are left as widows. Naomi releases, both of her daughter in laws to return back to their home. Oprah returns home, but Ruth vows to stay with Naomi as she returns back to Bethlehem. Ruth chooses to follow Naomi to a foreign land whereas an outsider she exhibits faithfulness and is redeemed.
1. Be a vessel of God
When reading Ruth, we have to acknowledge the beauty of Naomi and Ruth’s relationship. Their bond is so special and quite literally God-ordained.
In Chapter 1, we find Naomi not only widowed but also suffering from the loss of both of her sons. She instructs her daughter-in-law to return to their families. One of her daughters-in-law leaves, but the other, Ruth, vows to stay with Naomi. Ruth tells Naomi, “For whiter thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” in chapter 1, verse 16.
I can't help but wonder what made Ruth want to stay with Naomi? Could it be that Ruth was drawned to the Glory of God that illuminated through Naomi.
Our lives are to be examples of the Goodness of God.
Even in grief and bitterness, Naomi is still being used by God. Naomi may feel bitter, but she still keeps moving. She’s returning back to Judah because she has heard that God had blessed his people with good crops. And because she continues to move through faith despite how she is feeling, Ruth, in turn, is positively affected.
2. Stay in Position
Once Ruth and Naomi made it to Bethlehem, Ruth worked in the fields, where she gleaned for food. Gleaning was a chance for a certain group of people to pick up the leftover food from the harvest. Farmers were to leave anything that was left over by the reapers for those who were less fortunate.
With everything they’ve been through, Ruth immediately seeks this opportunity in hopes that she may find favor. “ And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, ‘Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one [of the reapers] in whose sight I may find favor.’ Naomi said to her, 'Go, my daughter.” Ruth 2:2 AMP
Here we see that Ruth is getting in position for where she will be blessed. Nothing about gleaning sounds glamorous; however, Ruth knows that it’s in the position and the movement of actively seeking, that Ruth finds favor. What an example of faith! Imagine having faith as a Moabite, believing even when your background says otherwise.
3. God always redeems
One of the biggest lessons we learn from Ruth is that God always redeems. When Ruth is noticed by Boaz, we get a first glance at how God works behind the scenes to bring restoration to his children. While Ruth gleaned in the fields, God already had his plan and purpose set in motion. Boaz steps in as the Kinsman Redeemer and restores Naomi and Ruth. The very land that Ruth gleaned on became hers through Boaz’s redemption. After marriage, Ruth became pregnant with a baby boy! We see that Naomi not only builds a strong bond with her daughter-in-law, but she also gets a new grandson to continue in her family lineage. “For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!’ Ruth 4:15
Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem grieving and even bitter, but with their willingness to just show up and believe God to be the provider that he is, they were restored. We also get to see the foreshadowing of God’s ultimate redemption plan through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Be vessels of God
Stay in Position
Remember, God always redeems
“The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given the of the Lord God of Israel under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:12