Hey hey hey!
If there’s a book of the Bible I have read over and over and over again, it is the book of Ruth. Yes, I love love stories but I’ve not really been drawn to her love story than I have the person of Ruth herself.
She’s like my mentor in the Bible; loyal, obedient, calm and a person deeply passionate about God.
One of my favorite lines from the whole book is in Chapter 1 verse 16
And Ruth said, urge me not to leave you or turn back 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.
Naomi begged Ruth and her sister-in-law to return to Moab, to their gods and tradition, but Ruth refused.
A verse before (Chapter 1 Verse 16), Naomi tempted Ruth to return like Orpah:
And Naomi said, see, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.
But Ruth had studied Naomi enough to know there was something special about her God. I’ll probably write another note about the force Naomi was as well. How her quiet faith compelled Ruth to leave all she had ever known to a strange land and a strange mighty God.
But today’s story is about Ruth.
Even after she had left it all to, she showed that she was always going to walk the talk. She didn’t abandon the old woman when they got to town.
Without being forced, Ruth went out to get food for the both of them.
Chapter 2 Verse 2
And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favour. Naomi said to her, Go, my daughter.
Hard worker, God-chaser Ruth! Oh, how I love her. She depicts the woman I want to be as I grow.
Even Boaz had heard about her before they ever ‘fell in love’.
Chapter 2 verse 11-12
And Boaz said to her, I have been made fully aware of all you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to a people unknown to you before.
The Lord recompense 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.
To see Ruth only as the lover-girl is to belittle her faith.
Ruth was a giver as well!
Chapter 2 verse 14
And at mealtime Boaz said to her, come here and eat of the bread and dip your morsel in the sour wine (mixed with oil). And she sat beside the reapers; and she ate until she was satisfied and she had some left (for Naomi).
Ruth must have been tired from the day’s work. She could have been like some of us who eat more and more; who continue to stuff ourselves even when we’re already satisfied. Once she felt full, she kept the rest for Naomi.
That speaks to me in many different ways, I can’t even begin to share.
Chapter 2 verse 23
So she kept close to the maidens of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
…And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Young people always want to explore, they don’t like to be boxed, they will rather die than have curfew and all that ‘old people stuff’. But Ruth stayed loyal.
She could have kept friends that kept her out late at night, she could have mingled with the people in town and ignored Naomi altogether, but even when they moved; Ruth remained with Naomi.
Chapter 3 verse 5
And Ruth said to her, all that you say to me I will do.
Obedient. She knew that her mother-in-law knew better than her. She wasn’t one to believe that all old people were clueless and did not know what was good for young people in the 21st century (or whatever century they were).
Some of us will never take advice from older people; too proud and lofty are our hearts that we’ll rather act like Rehoboam who ignored the advice of the aged and took the advice of his age mates. He paid dearly for it.
Yes, old people make mistakes but there’s a Yoruba adage that states that what an old person sees sitting, a young person can’t see even if they climb a ladder.
Yes, young people have the spirit of God to guide them, but truth is, some of us need to listen to older people (especially in the faith) if we’re ever going to make it out of this life in one piece. Many Ruths need to pray and be led to their Naomi. It’s the plain truth.
I have so much more to write, but I’ll end with Chapter 4 verse 6
And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest (by marrying a Moabitess) I endanger my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.
Here’s the context: Boaz had gone to meet this person who was the Kinsman to redeem Naomi’s lineage by buying her field and in so doing, had to marry Ruth as well.
But he was so shortsighted that all he could see was where Ruth came from.
Only if he knew! Ruth was no longer a Moabite in her heart, her past no longer mattered, the almighty God had redeemed her and wiped away her past.
This same Ruth became the grandmother of David; the friend of God.
This same Ruth became an ancestor of Jesus Christ.
There’s so much more to her story than Boaz; there’s a simple, yet crazy pursuit of God that this lady had.
And I pray that we all learn a thing or two from her.
Love and light,