Today’s reading: Ruth 1-4
If someone asked you to describe your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law, what would you say? I feel like in our society today it is very rare you will hear raving reviews on either one. Most people I know talk about their mother-in-law as overbearing, criticizes everything they do, meddles in their marriage and how they raise their kids. It’s so sad to me that others don’t have great and special relationships with their in-laws. Fortunately, I can say I had one of the best. She was kind, patient, full of love, selfless, humble, God-centered, faithful, and unwavering. Unfortunately for me, God took her 2 years ago to spend eternity with Him. People couldn’t help but be drawn to her because of her character and how she loved others. She always put God first, was a faithful servant, and stood fast to His promises.
Our story today is about a daughter-in-law, Ruth, and her mother-in-law, Naomi. It’s a story about faithfulness, grace, and redemption. Naomi and her husband along with their two sons had moved to Moab from Bethlehem during a famine. Her husband dies while there and the sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. After 10 years, both sons die so the three women start to head back to the land of Judah as they have heard the Lord has provided food to the nation. Now in these times, widows typically become poverty stricken. Just like my mother-in-law, Naomi had a selfless attitude. She recognized they most likely would be living a poverty style life and told both girls to go back to their homeland where the Lord can show favor on them and grant them another husband. They both resisted at first, but then Orpah went back. Ruth, however, would not leave Naomi. Ruth was not part of God’s chosen people but she had a great example in Naomi. She was drawn to Naomi and her God. Ruth followed Naomi’s selfless attitude as she could have gone back to her homeland to find another husband for herself and had a family. Instead, she stayed and remained faithful to her mother-in-law showing the love and kindness that had been shown to her.
Ruth finds a field to glean in order to provide for her and Naomi. Though Ruth may not have recognized God’s hand through this journey, He was there every moment. The field she ended up in “happened” to belong to Boaz, who “happened” to be a close relative (the only way to redeem the widow in those times). This was God’s hand at work; He is faithful. How many times has God been at work in our lives that we don’t even notice? God is always directing our lives for his purpose, we just may not see it or understand it at the time.
In the end, Ruth listens to Naomi’s instructions because she trusts her, which results in her marrying Boaz. Like Ruth, we all have someone in our life who is looking out for our best interest, whether it is a relative or a close friend. Treasure that person and lean into their love and faithfulness to you. God blessed Ruth because of her faithfulness. Her and Boaz had a son, Obed, and she becomes the great-grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus! How awesome is that? Just think about the possibilities of who you were created to be, you just have to be willing to listen and be faithful to Him!