Ruth was a Moabite woman who decided to follow God and care for her mother-in-law. God blessed Ruth for her faithfulness. Ruth was King David’s great-grandmother.
Ruth and Naomi
In the time of the judges, when there was still no king over Israel, an Israeli family left Bethlehem to escape the famine. The family, consisting of Noemi, her husband and their two children, moved to a neighboring land, called Moab. Noemi’s husband died and his two children married Moabite women but died childless ( Ruth 1: 3-5 ).
See also: who were the Gentiles in the Bible?
Widowed and childless, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, where there was no more hunger. She advised her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab with their families and their gods, but one of them stayed with Naomi. Her name was Ruth and she had decided to follow God and care for her mother-in-law, at any cost ( Ruth 1: 16-17 ).
When they arrived in Belém, Ruth went to work to support her elderly mother-in-law . The law allowed poor people to harvest the remains of crops, after the owners had harvested ( Deuteronomy 24: 19-21 ). Ruth entered a barley field and spent the day harvesting what the reapers dropped.
Ruth and Boaz
The plantation owner, Boaz, noticed Ruth’s hard work and asked questions about her. He was impressed when he heard everything Ruth was doing for Naomi ( Ruth 2: 11-12 ). So Boaz treated Ruth well and gave him help and protection . That day, Ruth came home with a lot of food and Naomi told her that Boaz was a relative of her husband. God was helping Ruth to find a new family!
Ruth continued to work on the Boaz plantation until the harvest was over ( Ruth 2:23 ). So Noemi advised Ruth to propose to Boaz . At that time, when a woman was widowed and childless, in a precarious situation, the closest relative had a duty to marry her and look after the deceased’s inheritance. Boaz was that close relative of Ruth.
At night, Ruth approached Boaz and asked him to look after her, doing his duty. Boaz was again impressed by Ruth’s concern to do the right thing ( Ruth 3: 9-11 ). Boaz explained that there was a relative closer to him but promised to settle the matter soon. Ruth returned home and told Naomi everything, who was happy because she knew that Boaz would take care of them.
The next day, Boaz met with the other relative, who gave him the duty to look after Ruth. Boaz then married Ruth and she had a son named Obed. Ruth’s son was the joy of Naomi in her old age, whose life was restored by the love of Ruth ( Ruth 4: 13-15 ). Ruth became great-grandmother to King David, who was Jesus’ ancestor.
Look here: who was David’s father?
- God-fearing– his love for God was reflected in a life of love and dedication to Naomi and her new family
- Courageous– Ruth left her family and everything she knew to do what was right
- Loyal– Ruth never left Naomi, even when she was under no obligation to stay with her
- Hardworking– her hard and honest work has earned the respect of everyone who knew her
- Respectful– Ruth listened and followed the advice of Noemi and Boaz, who were older and more experienced