You will probably not find a person in scripture who is as fearless as Ruth. In this story, Ruth’s husband dies and she is left with nothing. Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law, had a similar problem in that she also lost her husband. Naomi was from Bethlehem, after her husband died, desired to return back home to the place she once knew. Ruth truly looked up to her, and loved her as a surrogate mother. She was far from her birthplace and the presence of Naomi provided comfort and peace.
So, Ruth decided to travel back with Naomi to Bethlehem. This seems like a nonthreatening idea, but there was only one problem. Ruth was a Moabite. The Israelites and Moabites did not get along due to racial/ ethnic tension. She went despite this fact, and trusted that she would be okay. She knew that there was going to be trouble, but she confessed faith in “Naomi’s God” (the one true God) and knew that He would protect her.
In this passage, Ruth just met Boaz, who was a wealthy land owner in Bethlehem, and by all cultural standards; should have shown deep animosity toward Ruth. He didn’t. In fact, he displayed abundant grace to this stranger, and gave her material blessings despite what the world thought of her.
Many scholars would argue that Boaz is a Christ like figure in this story even though it occurred before the accounts of Jesus. It certainly seems that way to me.
As Christians we often forget what Jesus thinks of us and focus on what the world says about us. When we do this, it becomes hard to accept God’s grace because we are always suspicious of mercy given without us having to earn it. For us to grow, we must remember that, even when we were “foreigners” or “strangers” to God, He still chose to love us.
Ruth did not earn it. Boaz gave it anyway. And, in this passage, we see the first time abundant grace came out of Bethlehem.
Prayer for Today: God, please help me to accept your grace and mercy. Remind me of your love for me today. Remind me of who I am in you. Amen.
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. You can find his blog here: ministrysauce.com