Dear God’s daughters, greetings!
Today, I will focus on Ruth’s life on my Worthy Women Series. Ruth has a beautiful and encouraging story for every woman who wants to find the path of virtue.
Let’s see and taste how the Lord is good!
Lived during the Biblical Times (Book of Ruth/times of Judges)
Husbands: married first to Mahlon (Naomi’s son), and then to Booz
Children: Obed (King David’s grandfather)
Qualities: virtuous, gentle, loyal, devoted to her mother-in-law, diligent and hardworking
Her sadness: having to face her first husband’s death
Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Elimelech and Naomi, two Hebrew people who came to settle in Moab with their two sons when there was a famine in the Land of Canaan during the times of Judges.
Ruth married Mahlon and Orpah, another Moabite, married Chilion. Then Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion died.
Naomi, deeply grieved, learned that God had blessed the land of Canaan and made up her mind to return in her homeland. But her two daughters-in-law, who were attached to her and had deep feelings for her, started to cry and begged her to bring them to Canaan.
But Naomi refused and blessed them, telling them to go back to their parents, their traditions and their gods, and remarry. Orpah obeyed her mother-in-law but Ruth told Naomi:
“Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me”.
Ruth and Naomi, her beloved mother-in-law
Naomi listened to Ruth and brought her to Bethlehem. To support herself and her mother-in-law, Ruth went to Boaz’s field to glean. Boaz was a relative to Elimelech’s. She worked hard and was admired by Boaz’s servant who talked about her to their master.
Boaz then came to her and told her he heard about her kindness to Naomi, and told her to glean only in his field. He also blessed her and said:
“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, Under whose wings thou art come to trust”.
When Naomi heard that Ruth gleaned in Boaz’s fields, she was content and told Ruth that it was good not to be seen in another field, as he was Naomi’s parent.
As Naomi saw Ruth’s kindness, she wanted her to be happy. Naomi also wanted to secure her position, as well as Ruth’s, as they were widows. Since Boaz was Mahlon’s and Elimelech’s parent, he could marry Ruth according the Levirate law, in order to carry on the family’s inheritance.
Naomi knew that Boaz was a virtuous man and that he would be the perfect match for Ruth. Therefore, she gave some advice on how she could win Boaz’s heart. She told her to dress up, anoint herself with oil and to go Boaz’s feet. Boaz would then tell her what to do.
Ruth followed her mother-in-law’s advice and went into Boaz’s place. He was merry and had drunk a little when he came to sleep. However, during the night, he saw Ruth sleeping at his feet and was afraid. Then he asked what she wanted. She told him to marry her, as it was his right under the Levirate law.
Ruth and Boaz
Boaz then said:
“Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman”.
Nevertheless, there was a potential obstacle to their marriage, since there was a relative closer to Elimelech than Boaz who could also use his right to marry Ruth under the Levirate law.
That relative was interested in buying a field that belonged to Naomi. However, when he heard that marrying Ruth was part of the bargain, he decided to pass his right to Boaz.
Boaz then married Ruth and they had a son called Obed, who was King David’s grandfather. He rejoiced Naomi in her old days.
Naomi nursing Obed, Ruth’s son
That’s a happy ending, on God’s terms!
- It’s interesting to see how Ruth shares some qualities with Proverbs 31: she is hardworking, diligent, kind, and loyal and she is described by Boaz as a virtuous woman.
- Boaz is Rahab’s son! Remember, the former prostitute of Jericho that we studied earlier?
- It’s amazing that she has a beautiful relationship with her mother-in-law! It’s very rare nowadays.
- Ruth, as Rahab, is also listed among the ancestors of Jesus in Matthew 1.
What we can learn from Ruth
Ruth was a foreigner but she was willing to abandon her traditions and her gods to follow the true God that she never knew. God saw her heart and her virtue and decided to reward her for that.
We, as women of God, should never forget that God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” – Hebrews 11.6. Ruth’s story shows that God favors all those who trust him, whatever your background.
Moreover, Ruth is a role model for single women: she decided to take care of her needs and didn’t wait for a man to take care of her financially. She worked hard and earned her own salary thanks to her diligence.
She is also courageous and brave enough to take care of her mother-in-law and herself.
As single women, we should not wait for a man to provide for us, but trust God and work on our own goals. When the husband comes, he will hopefully be able to appreciate your diligence and your sense of responsibility!
Moreover, I hope that every single woman (including myself) finds a husband like Boaz who is God-fearing, responsible, gentle, a good manager of people, diligent.
Last but not least, Ruth’s story shows how good advice from an older woman can change our lives. Let’s listen to our elders! Do you have a mentor who guides you? It could be your mother, your sister, or an older woman in the Church. Anyway, don’t hesitate to ask and learn from their wisdom and experience!
Do you agree with Ruth’s life lessons? Please share your point of view!
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