“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”
She was a Moabite, not born of noble birth—but one with a past. And the Spirit led me to her home today for I was one in search of redemption, restoration. Could her story be mine?
A sparkling, bright eyed woman met me with open arms. Children hovered at her feet.
“I was searching for answers my family could not give. There had to be something more than a god who delighted in the sacrifice of innocent children. Chemosh is the god of Moab but unanswered questions only stirred my longing for something more. Then I met Mahlon. The stories he told me about the God of Israel intrigued me. The grace and peace I saw in his family, stirred a hunger within to know this God who honored life.
But Mahlon died. Oh, how I wept. My world was a cavern of unending grief, a bottomless pit. Naomi was returning to Bethlehem and despite her negative forecast, I had to follow…no matter what. I had tasted of a gracious God, and destiny lay in that little town of Bethlehem… so far away.
I was right. No sooner had we arrived that the barley harvest began. It was a sign from God. He was ordering our steps.
One day as I gleaned in the harvest, as was God’s provision for widows, I saw a shadow looming over me. Scared, I looked up and gazed into the kindest eyes I ever remember seeing. And he was smiling…at me! It was Boaz, the owner of the field.
But why he smiled at me, instead of frowning, still mystifies me. Then again…that’s how the wonderful God of Israel operates. He is so gracious and Boaz was equally gracious…to me…a Moabite!
I never dreamed of being a bride again. And when Naomi encouraged me to approach Boaz at the threshing floor I wanted to run. How terrifying. Ask him to marry me? Only because I trusted this god-fearing woman did I take such a risk.
Would Boaz laugh? Would he sneer? Would he brush me off with an offering of wheat and say, ‘Go home. I can’t marry you. Take care of Naomi. That’s where you belong.’?
But that didn’t happen. Boaz seemed happy to bring me into his home. However, there was a small problem he said—something about a closer relative. I gasped as my heart sank. I just knew this was Boaz’s exit…his perfect excuse for turning me aside.
But I would mar this other man’s inheritance. Marrying me would corrupt his sterling reputation. Marrying me would bring him shame, disgrace. And why would this nearer kinsman make such sacrifice to purchase Elimecech’s land when a child born from our union would become its heir?
The closer relative declared, ‘Not that one. There must be a better one. She’s been marred.’ But his rejection became Boaz’s gift.
At the midnight hour, Boaz’s bridal party danced their way to Naomi’s home. Quickly I donned my lovely gown and met him at the door. I was swept off my feet!
Gazing dreamily into my bridegroom’s deep brown eyes I whispered a question. “Why have I found favor with you seeing I am a stranger from a foreign land?
Taking me into his arms, his reply surprised me. ‘Oh, but I have seen the hunger in your heart for the things of God. And I have reflected upon your diligence and humility and know you are a vessel chosen for Yawaeh’s glory. How could I resist such beauty? I’ve searched for you all my life.’
Oh how my heart swelled with love!
And now the slave in the field has become the owner of the field. My inheritance is secured by my beloved who has lavishly poured his love upon me. No longer cast off… but cherished I am.
What foolishness and utter delight that I, Ruth, have become the mother of Obed, the ancestor of David, from whom sprang forth the Christ the Son of the Living God!”
Her story had ended but the dew of God’s amazing love still hung in her glistening eyes.
And I, who had been planted in the midst of God’s redeeming love, was forever changed!
Can Ruth’s story be yours? Yes, my darling.