Ruth: A woman of purpose and destiny – Part 2
Without any shadow of a doubt, from start to finish, we see Divine Providence at work in the life of Ruth and the main characters of the story. In many ways, God is honoured by all of them. No wonder, God, in turn, honoured them for their honouring him.
“…But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed”
In chapter 1:8-9, Naomi honours God by exulting him as one who deals kindly and grants rest to his creatures, “And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept” (
Then, in verses 16-17, Ruth acknowledges and identifies with the God of Israel, “But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth
As for Boaz, he honours God at different times. In chapter 2:4 he invokes the name of God to bless the reapers, “Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!” (Ruth
Then, in chapter 4:11, the elders acknowledged God as the one who builds and prospers the house of Israel. “And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem” (Ruth
Both Ruth and Boaz honoured God in the orderly way they went about solemnizing their relationship. Ruth obeys her mother-in-law in every detail. Naomi’s concern is wholly for Ruth’s future security. Boaz is self-controlled, generous and honourable. Boaz’s life is obviously God-fearing. His immediate reaction when he wakes up and sees Ruth is ‘The Lord bless you’ and ‘as the Lord lives’ (3:10,13).
Boaz did not just rush ahead and get married. He went through the cultural process. He took a great risk marrying a Moabite, Ruth. But he trusted that the Lord was in control. The Lord unravelled his mystery through their union. Boaz and Ruth were married and gave birth to the grandfather of King David. Indeed, Ruth, the servant girl, became an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5–6). The book reveals Jesus as our kinsman-redeemer (Ruth 4:14). He calls us his brothers and sisters, understands our struggles and acts to redeem us (Hebrews 2:11–12, 17–18). We see the kindness of God throughout the book of Ruth.
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