Ruth, the Great (Several) Grandma of Jesus
In the lineage of our Savior Jesus, many women have famous stories. The woman I get to share about is Ruth, and her story is quite famous. Most love the story of Ruth and Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, or at least have a general idea about their love story. Many like to focus on the relationships in Ruth’s life. Her relationship with her first husband, the relationship with her mother-in-law, and of course, her relationship with Boaz. While I love these aspects of her story, there is so much more we can glean from the story about her character.
Ruth has a heart open to God and is steadfast, loyal, teachable, and bold. When she, a Moabite woman, married Mahlon, an Israelite son, she married outside of her nationality, culture, and religion. She was open to the One True God and learned to worship Him through her husband and his family. Throughout the book of Ruth, we see God’s hand on her and her praise of Him.
The hardships she and the women of her new family faced might have sent her running back to her old life and family (much like her sister-in-law, Orpah). Instead, Ruth was steadfast and loyal to her husband’s family, specifically her mother-in-law, Naomi. They must have had a great love for one another because of what she says in Ruth 1:16, “ For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God” (ESV). In the next verse, the word Naomi uses to describe Ruth is “steadfast” or, in some translations, “loyal.” Ruth was loyal to Naomi and went with her to a land she did not know.
When Naomi decided to travel back to the land of her people, Ruth had a lot to process and learn about her new life and the people of God. One thing I appreciate about Ruth is that she is teachable. She learned a new way of life. Life in an unknown land, life as a widow, and life as a working woman. Namoi led her to the land of Israel as a widow who now needed to provide for herself and her mother-in-law.
Ruth needed to enter the workforce. Naomi suggested that she go to work in a field nearby. I am sure this was a significant learning curve for Ruth, but she learned quickly. The field she was working in was the land of Boaz, an unmarried kinsman to Naomi’s family. (Heads up, because I had to look it up when I first read it, a kinsman is a relative). Ruth had to learn so many new things for this season of her life, and because she was teachable, Ruth found favor in the eyes of many, especially Boaz. Her willingness to step up for her family during what probably felt like an unbearable time brings me such hope. No matter what we go through in this life, no matter how heavy the unknowns can be. We CAN endure, grow, and learn new things.
Now our girl Ruth was bold, I mean capital B-O-L-D! Her entire story is about stepping out and being bold. The boldness to marry Mahlon, knowing her family in Moab may not accept her. The courage to trust God for safety and provision. And, for sure, the boldness to present herself to Boaz as a (potential) bride. Saying she is bold may actually be an understatement.
I believe that these attributes of Ruth, a God-loving, steadfast, teachable woman who walks in boldness, are why she was chosen to be in the lineage of Christ. Not to mention she brings about aspects of life we in our modern-day culture can genuinely understand, such as loss, a life change, and even going into the workforce. God uses all things in His word to bring true hope, which can be found in Jesus, and here in the book of Ruth, there is such hope for women.
Please know that this blog is a teaser. It is designed to pique your interest to read the excellent little book about the great, great, great…(several more greats) grandmother of Jesus. So if you haven’t already, go read Ruth!
Things to think about: Have you ever considered these aspects of Ruth’s character? Do you resonate with any of these attributes? How does the book of Ruth play into your life as a woman, wife, widow, mother, or working woman? What can you glean further from the life of our Girl Ruth?
Reference: Book of Ruth, Old Testament.
Therese Ragland is the Prayer Team Leader and a Contributor for Humble Faith Ministries, a working, single momma, and Life Coach. She loves Jesus and His people with truth and tenderness.