Ruth: God Finishes the Story
I enjoy being on the go! I take any chance to plan a fun outing with friends. Social distancing is hard, y’all. But the slower pace isn’t all bad. I’ve had more time to rest, more time with my family, and more time in the Word.
Ruth is one of my favorite Biblical heroines, and I’ve had the opportunity to review her life. Ruth’s continual submission to God’s ultimate, unseen plan in a tumultuous time encourages me. She took three steps in faith:
- Leaving Home (Ruth 1:1-18)
Ruth was from the country of Moab and married an Israelite who fled there with his family from a famine in Bethlehem. In a tragic turn of events, Ruth’s husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law all died. This left her vulnerable. Naomi, her mother-in-law, encouraged Ruth to return to her Moabite family. Yet Ruth chose to follow Naomi to Israel, facing uncertainty in a foreign land, but determining to trust the one true God.
- Gleaning Grain (Ruth 1:19-2:23)
While Naomi made her bitterness well-known throughout Bethlehem, Ruth showed a willingness to work and allow God to work in her life. She began to glean from the fields of Boaz, who happened to be a close relative of Naomi. Boaz took notice of Ruth. The providence of God in the situation was not lost on Naomi, and she began to change her tune. Boaz could choose to be Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer, securing Ruth’s and Naomi’s future. Risking ridicule, Ruth took a step of faith into the grain field. And God orchestrated a series of events that would change her life.
- Midnight Meeting (Ruth 3:1-18)
When Naomi gave Ruth godly advice, Ruth submitted to the plan even though it could mean rejection. When Boaz fell asleep at the threshing floor, Ruth lay down at his feet, an act of marriage proposal. He awoke in the middle of the night, surprised to see a woman there! Boaz praised Ruth as a “woman of excellence” (v 11) and accepted her as his wife.
The book of Ruth begins with catastrophic death which should have ruined Ruth’s life but ends with incalculable joy! Boaz married Ruth, and they had a baby boy named Obed, the grandfather of King David. Naomi was blessed to bounce a baby on her knee once again, and the women of Bethlehem, to whom she previously complained, praised God for His restoration power in the lives of His people.
Not only was Ruth’s personal life woven back together, but God saw fit to sew her faithfulness into the fabric of His ultimate plan for redemption, being an ancestor of Jesus.
A few short weeks ago, I never imagined I’d be facing bare grocery store shelves and physical separation from my church family. However, Ruth reminds me that God finishes the story. He is working in me and through me beyond my comprehension.
I can use this time to lie at His feet and surrender to His process — being changed by Him for His glory.
Laura Romans serves as Birchman’s comptroller and is an active member at Birchman.