In the middle of the corruption in the time of Judges, there is a story of love and redemption in the life of a Moabite woman named Ruth.
A LOVE STORY AMONG THE EVIL OF JUDGES
The last book of Judges left a bad taste in my mouth, when I read of all the horrifying things the Israelites went back to after their gift of the Promised Land. But not all the stories were bad. There is a small book in the Bible called Ruth that tells of a Moabite woman, and her story of love and redemption.
Ruth is one of the people from Moab whom the Israelites intermarried with. Possibly as part of God’s punishment for the Israelites’ disobedience, her husband (and his brother and father) are killed in a famine. Ruth (along with her sister-in-law, Orpah, and mother-in-law, Naomi), are left to fend for themselves.
Naomi tells the girls to leave and find men to marry so that they will be taken care of, but when Orpah leaves, Ruth refuses. She knows that no one will help her mother-in-law and she will be left in danger. So instead of returning to the safety of her family, Ruth promises to stay with Naomi and follow wherever she wants to go.
Naomi, being an Israelite, wishes to return to Bethlehem and heads back with Ruth in time for the Barley Harvest.
A rule from Leviticus says that when the harvesters collect the wheat and barley, they must leave what falls to the ground for peasants, and Ruth collects what she can each day.
One day, a man named Boaz (who is actually a distant relative of Naomi’s husband), notices Ruth and how she cares for her mother-in-law. He makes sure that she gets enough to eat and treats her with love and respect.
Over time they marry, and Ruth and her mother-in-law are well taken care of.
Ruth and Boaz have a son named Obed, who is the grandfather of the future King David—the direct descendant of Jesus himself!
THE BOOK OF RUTH PRINTABLE
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For more history before the story of Ruth, check out these other posts:
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