The story of Ruth tells us God accepts all who believe in Him.
Ruth was a Moabitess. Lot, nephew of Abraham, had an incestuous relationship with both of his daughters after they each got him drunk and slept with him. His oldest daughter became pregnant and gave birth to their son, Moab.
The Moabites descended from Moab.
Genesis 19:37-38The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Ruth was a women loyal to her loved ones. She proved this quality in many ways:
- Ruth stayed devoted to her mother-in-law Naomi, even after both of their husbands died.
- Ruth traveled with Naomi to her homeland of Bethlehem, a place that was foreign to Ruth.
- Ruth converted to Judaism and worshiped the true God, because Naomi whom she loved was a Jew.
Ruth 1:16 But 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.
Ruth was also a hard worker, overcoming any fear of working as an unfamiliar female in a man’s world:
Ruth 2:7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
Because of all she did for her mother-in-law, Ruth found favor in the eyes of the barley field owner. His name was Boaz, and he happened to be a distant relative of Naomi. Boaz told Ruth to glean only in his field, and to drink his worker’s water. He also instructed his men to leave stalks for Ruth, and to not rebuke her:
Ruth 2:13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”
Ruth always did as she was told. So when Naomi sent Ruth at night to sneak in the threshing floor and lie at Boaz’s feet, she obeyed. This act of true kindness so pleased the elder Boaz, that he wanted to marry Ruth. But first, following tradition, he had to check with a certain male family member who was a closer relative to Ruth than Boaz. This particular relative had first option before Boaz, to marry Ruth since her husband was dead.
As the Lord planned, the first in line relative chose not to marry Ruth, so Boaz was free to take her as his wife. Ruth soon bore Boaz a son:
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
They named their son, Obed.
Ruth 4:14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!
Bed did have an important role in the genealogy of Israel. He grew up to become became the father of Jesse. Jesse became the father of David, the shepherd boy turned mighty king. And from the line of king David, Jesus was born.
The story of Ruth shows us God’s grace in difficult circumstances. More importantly it reveals God receives everyone who believes in Him, no matter your race, nationality, or standing in life.
Romans 10:12-13 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Acts 10:34-35Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.