RUTH, The Moabitess : Story of God's Loving Providence

RUTH, the Moabitess:  Story of God’s Loving Providence

Buth Ruth Replied:

            “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

                                                                                                Ruth 1:16-17

            One of the most beautiful love stories in the Bible is the love story of Ruth.  The story of Ruth depicts the faithfulness of an ever loving God to a Gentile widow who has chosen the God of Israel as her refuge.  The story of Ruth depicts that if you have chosen to seek refuge in the true and ever living God, who is no other than the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your life will richly be blessed.

            Ruth was a woman from a gentile country of Moab. She married Mahlon, son of Naomi, her husband Elimelech and their two sons went to live for a while in the country of Moab when there was a famine in the land of Judah.

            Naomi’ husband Elimelech died and her two sons married Moabite women. Kilion married Orpah and Mahlon married Ruth. After ten years of living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilion also died, and their mother Naomi was left without he two sons and her husband.

            Naomi heard that the Lord is providing food to His people, she decided to return to Israel. Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to return to their home and to their people  and their gods.  But Ruth insisted not to leave Naomi, and be with her no matter where Naomi would go.

What made Ruth persistent in being with Naomi?

            Ruth indeed is a woman of noble character.  She had learned to love her mother-in-law deeply, that she became so attached with her. She did not want to leave her alone in her return to Israel. She wanted to keep her company.  Naomi and  Ruth  must have a very beautiful relationship as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

            In choosing to be with Naomi, Ruth had also chosen to seek refuge in the God of Israel.  Ruth had chosen to forsake her homeland, kinsmen and gods in choosing to seek refuge in the God of Israel. Ruth had become a believer of the true and ever living God.  She had chosen to worship the God of Naomi, who is the God of Israel, who is no other than the Almighty.

            Even though, Ruth has no assurance of good life in Israel, no assurance of a great future in Israel, she was firm in her decision to be with Naomi.

            In Israel, Ruth found one of the fields where she could glean, and pick up left over grains.  Ruth found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was a near kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband.

            Ruth found favor in the eyes of Boaz.  Boaz was a man of noble  character, and he shew great kindness to Ruth. Boaz happened to be one of Naomi’s kinsman redeemers.

            One day Naomi thought of providing a new home for Ruth by planning a marriage between Ruth and Boaz.  Naomi instructed Ruth to wash and perfume herself and put on her best clothes.  Then instructed Ruth to go down the threshing floor and wait for Boaz to lie down and when Boaz lie down, Ruth should uncover his feet and lie down.

            Ruth followed her mother-in-law instruction without hesitation.  Boaz responded affirmatively to Naomi’s plan and promised to resolve the issue immediately.

            The story of Ruth involves two social customs of ancient Israel, the levirate and the redemption of Lord.

            The Levirate described in legal form in Deuteronomy 24”5-10 refers to the fact that if a man in ancient Israel died without a son, the obligation fall upon the next-of-kin to marry the widow and produced a son, “That his name may not be blotted out of Israel.

            Another kinsman nearer that Boaz has not only prior obligation but       prior right. Since Boaz may not safely ignore that prior right, he assembles the elders of the city gate, invites the nearer kinsman to attend and then inform him that Naomi is selling the parcel of land which belonged to our kinsman Elimelech.”

            Thinking himself faced with the obligation alone, the nearer kinsman responds affirmatively. Boaz then prompts him to give up his right by informing him.

            “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also buying Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the dead, in order to restore the name of the dead to his inheritance.  The kinsman then responds that to do so would impair his own inheritance so he is force to withdraw.  Were he responsible for only the levirate, his own estate would not have been in jeopardy.

            The child of the Levirate marriage would have been supported by Elimelech’s property until old enough to inherit it. And if he faced only the redemption obligation, the price of the land would have been compensated for by the land itself.  But when the land he must buy must then go to the child of his levirate marriage with Ruth, the kinsman is unable to accept such a dual obligation.  He voluntary cedes his right in the matter to Boaz.   Apparently Boaz was sufficiently wealthy that this dual obligation presented no problem.

            So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife.  There he went to her and the Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son. The woman said to Naomi:  “Praise be to the Lord who this day has not left you without a kinsman – redeemer. “Ruth 4:13-14/

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            Then Naomi took the child laid him in her lap and cared for him.  The woman living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed.  He was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

                                                                                                                        Ruth 4:16-17  0

            The story of Ruth demonstrates the gracious guidance of God in the life of Naomi’s family. In fact, the major actor in the drama is God, whose presence in the story leads from Naomi’s bitter complaint in Ruth 1:20:

            “Do not call me Naomi (‘Pleasant’) call me MARA [’Bitter’] for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me, I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.”

            To the glad cry of women of Bethlehem in Ruth 4:17:

            “A son has been born to Naomi.”

This is a book about God’s sovereignty over the events of the lives of those who trust him.

            The story of Ruth depicts God’s faithfulness to Naomi and Ruth. Ruth’s wisdom in choosing  proves to be fruitful. In choosing to seek refuge in the God of Israel, who is no other but the true and living God, Ruth’s life was greatly blessed and enriched. The providential care of the Almighty as seen in Ruth’s life is             not exclusive to Israel alone. God will always be willing to show His love to any gentle nation who will repent and turn to Him.

            The Book of Ruth stresses God’s “all causality” differently from such other old Testament Literature.  No guidance comes through dream, visions, angelic visitation or voices from heaven, and no prophet is sent with his “thus saith the Lord.”  God works behind the scenes through the ordinary motivations and events of the story. He is everywhere but totally hidden in purely human coincidences and schemes.

            The author stresses thus one particular aspect of God’s providence – its hiddeness.  This Theology of absolute but hidden causality is not unique to Ruth. The Court History of David (2 Samuel 9-20) and the Story of Joseph ((Gen. 37, 39-50) also stress God’s complete and continuous control of events not overtly or supernaturally but, imperceptibly and naturally through the mundane course of life.

            Through their faithfulness and God’s hidden guidance, Naomi’s family was preserved for Israel, for from it stemmed great David, and many generations later, David’s greater Son., no other than the Lord JesusChrist.

Sources:

Book of Ruth

New International Version

Old Testament Survey

Published by:

            William B. Eerdmans

            Publishing Company

            Grand Rapids, Michigan                  -3-

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Comments 13 comments

Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Good article - I remember bits and pieces of the story of Ruth, but it wasn't together; your article has helped me to pull it together.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Coolmon2009 nice to hear from you again. Thank you for gracing this hub. It is encouraging to read your comment. Remain blessed always.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Great hub, I love the story of Ruth and her faithfulness to her mother-in-law. It is a classic biblical story of love and devotion.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this wonderful woman.

Forever His,


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila Author

Hi RevLady it is nice to hear from you again. Thanks for gracing this hub. The love story of Ruth is one of my favorite love stories in the Bible, I find it very inspiring. Remain blessed always. Have a great week ahead.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Cristina327 what I love the most in this Hub comes two-fold. Ruth demonstrates a true love and respect for her Mother-in law, which results in a passion for God. The we also see how God rewards devotion.

Great Hub my dear.

God bless you,

KUYA Dave.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Dave Mathews thank you for gracing this hub and additional comment. REmain blessed.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Cristina, Wonderful hub! Beautiful story of loyalty and God's Faithfulness! Excellent choice to showcase the beauty of devotion and God's providence. Thank you for sharing, In His love & Blessings!


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila Author

Hi DeBorrah K. Ogans thank you for gracing this hub,it is very encouraging to read your comment. Yes the Book of Ruth is one of the books in the Bible that inspire me to trust God continually and to constantly seek refuge in His loving arms. Remain blessed.


bob157  5 years ago

lol Hi cristina327 thank for the relaxing comment you gave to Deborrah. I loved your reaction. The Book of Ruth is so impressive. AAAAAAAWWWWWEEEEEEE


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi bob thanks for taking time to read this hub. Your visit and comment is much appreciated.


elle 5 years ago

does it end when Ruth did exactly this with no questioning . Boaz responded affirmatively to Naomi’s plan and promised to resolve the her problem immediately.


bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 5 years ago from Bartlett, TN

Enjoyed your writing on Ruth. I am writing a series on Women in the Bible. I begun with Ruth. The story of Ruth is truly amazing. So much to learn and return from her life. Be Blessed!


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi bettybarnesb it is great to hear from you. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Your visit and comment is much appreciated. Blessings and regards.

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