Recently, I took some time to sit down and read the book of Ruth in the Bible. A lot of it confused me honestly, and I had to spend a lot of that night thinking, writing and re-reading. There’s so much packed into that few-paged story, and it’s incredible how it can alter your life if you understand what it’s telling us.
Ruth is an incredible women, honestly one that I strive to be. She’s the epitome of courage and selflessness. We have a lot to learn from who she was.
Before I go on with this blog post, I wanted to remind you all to read this book! It’s only a few pages long and, thus, easy to get through. However, I don’t recommend flying through it just once. Take some time to sit down with a notebook and pen, because you’re going to want to with this book. It’s packed with messages and stories below the surface.
After you’ve gone through the book, go and watch this fantastic video on the book. >>CLICK HERE TO WATCH!<< The video, too, is short but covers a ton of information. Basically, you’re gonna wanna make sure you have your notebook next to you the entire time. It’s going to be a necessity.
LET’S DIVE IN…
The beautiful story begins when Naomi is left without her husband and two sons (who we find out passed away). She’s followed back to her hometown by Orpah and Ruth. Although both women are young and can still find other husbands, they leave the mentality behind to follow Naomi. They know that life without a man (this was a cultural thing) to take care of them will be dangerous and nothing will be guaranteed, but they have faith.
My favorite verse from the beginning part is, “Where you will go, I will go” (Ruth 1.16). We read that it’s spoken by Ruth, and it’s our first real understanding of exactly what kind of a woman she is. She knows that the life she’s giving up could be a great one, but that her life she’s looking for with Naomi is going to be infinitely better. Maybe at this present time there will be trials and tribulations, but she knows the reward will be great for following Naomi instead of the world.
Truly, how beautiful is that!?
Ruth’s speech to her mother-in-law reminds me so much of what a true Believer would say to the Lord. Where you will go, I will go. Ruth has no fear, and neither should we. Navigating the road to our future Home will be tough, but it will also be worth it. Literally all we need is a whole bunch of faith to get there.Navigating the road to our future Home will be tough, but it will also be worth it. Click To Tweet
Although neither woman knows exactly where she’s going in chapter two, they’ve got this undying trust in the Lord. You can see the Holy Spirit working in these woman (especially Ruth) in the way they’ve let their fear melt away and learned to follow their intuition. It makes me wonder…do we let the Holy Spirit work in us, or do we turn Him away? Maybe it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as this story, but we should be keeping our hearts constantly open to these intuitions.
Let’s take a moment, friends, and think about how crazy this story is so far. So, Ruth’s husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law die, and instead of running away to something new, she pledges her loyalty to her mother-in-law. They find themselves on a journey to locate a distant relative and Ruth promises that she’ll marry this distant relative to redeem the family.
Could you honestly imagine doing any of that? Sometimes (okay actually a lot), I complain about traffic and getting up early in the morning to go to work. Those first-world props! That’s seriously nothing compared to what Ruth did, and you never hear her complain about it. In fact, she’s happy to do it. She knows it’s the Lord’s work and it’s what she was put on this Earth to do.
Many people talk about how Catholicism belittles women, and yet here is an entire book in the Bible of a woman who was incredibly selfless, brave and strong.
I love comparing Boaz to the Lord, because he sees the true goodness in Ruth and rewards her with his hand in marriage. I love how she asks him why she’s found favor in his sight, basically saying she’s not worthy and yet somehow she’s still been blessed….and because of her humility she can’t understand!
That part really pulled at me, because how many times do we do something we know is great, and then wait around for someone to reward us for it? I know I do that way more than I should. And sometimes if people don’t say anything or notice, I kindly remind them of what I did. In those moments, my humility is gone and I can sadly admit that it’s one of the rougher points of my personality. I wonder how much more we would grow by taking a lesson on humility from Ruth.
In chapter three, Boaz calls Ruth a worthy woman. Let’s unpack that for a second. He completely throws the stereotype of a “typical man” out the window in this chapter and gives an amazing example of who a Godly man should be. He recognizes the struggles that Ruth has gone through to get here, and what she’s given up, and knows she’s worthy of love.
Here, Boaz reminds me of the Lord again. Throughout all of our struggles in our lives and while we work hard to stand out from the rest of the world in favor of God, He sees that. He knows who we truly are at our core, and He’s going to one day tell us we’re worthy people, if we follow in His ways.
I think that’s a subtle reminder that all of this suffering we’re going through will be worth it.all of this suffering we're going through will be worth it. Click To Tweet
My favorite part of this story comes at the end, when everything works out exactly how it’s supposed to. Ruth and Naomi had no idea how their lives would turn out, but they knew somehow they’d make it. Because of Ruth’s selflessness, there was a beautiful marriage and pregnancy. What started out as a tragedy ended up as a blessing, and none of it would have happened if it weren’t for the deaths of three men. (Yeah, that’s cray.)
If you didn’t catch the genealogy, make sure you go back and read over it. These seemingly “insignificant” people became the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Without their stories working out exactly the way they did, Jesus would not have been born. Their small stories were part of a much larger, more beautiful one. Their tragedies led to so many more blessings.
Although you may only be seeing a small part of the big picture in your life today, don’t forget you’re here for a reason. Everything you do and everything you go through is part of a Plan. You may not realize what part of the puzzle you are, but you’re a part just the same.You may not realize what part of the puzzle you are, but you're a part just the same. Click To Tweet
And ladies, don’t underestimate the power of a humble, selfless woman. Those traits will take you farther than money or status ever will.
Want to learn more about Ruth?
- Ruth: loss, love & legacy (The Living Room Series)
- THE BOOK OF RUTH: A Bible Study for Small Groups or Individuals