Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Book of Ruth

I read the Old Testament book of Ruth a few days ago. An Israelite woman named Naomi, while living in the foreign country of Moab, loses her husband and two sons. She is left alone except for her daughters-in-law. She sets out to return to Judah and is followed by these two woman. However, only Ruth stays with her; the other is convinced to return to her family.

I was captured by the phrase which was used by Boaz, a relative of Naomi's, in regards to Ruth.
He said, "...all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence" in Ruth 3:11.

Boaz's statement made me examine the woman, Ruth, more carefully. What type of woman is worthy of these words?

She believed in the God of Israel. Boaz said that Ruth came to seek refuge under God's wings. 2:12

Ruth was a kind and respectful person. Naomi knew that both of her daughters-in-law were kind by their treatment of herself and the deceased husbands. "And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go, return each of you to her Mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.' " Ruth 1:8

Ruth demonstrated loyalty to her Mother-in-law by remaining with her. This makes me wonder what type of woman Naomi was to have earned that love and devotion from her daughter-in-law.

Ruth was determined once she made up her mind. Naomi's insistence that she return to her home did not sway her; she knew what she wanted to do.

Once they were in Judah, Ruth demonstrated that she was a hard worker. She gleaned (picked up what was left after the field workers had harvested) all day in the field to get food for her Mother-in-law and herself. "So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley." 2:17

Ruth was a humble person. She listened to the words of Naomi without hesitation. 3:3-5

Ruth was a grateful person. Listen to her response to Boaz, " I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant though I am not like one of your maidservants." 2:13

Boaz recognized Ruth's wisdom in not looking for a young man but setting her hope on Boaz. As he was a relative of Naomi, he would be able to redeem Naomi and Ruth's household by raising up the name of their deceased through their offspring. 4:10

Ruth was an obedient and submissive woman. She listened to Naomi's advice and followed her wisdom. 3:3-5 There is no doubt that she was one of the holy women that adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit, submitting to her husband, which the apostle, Peter, spoke about in 1Peter 3:1-6

Ruth shows an excellent path to follow.

8 comments:

DwayneinBonanza said...

The whole bible tells us paths we should all follow. God bless

DwayneinBonanza

L'Envoi said...

"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God." -- Ruth 1:16 (King James Version)

If there were no Ruth and Boaz, there would be not Obed (Ruth 4:22). If there were no Obed, there would be no Jessie. If there were no Jessie, there would be no King David... and so forth... and where would we be without Christmas?

Back in the 1950s, the entertainment industry did not despite Christianity nor its observances. I will send you the song "Whither Thou Goest", recorded in 1954 by Les Paul and Mary Ford (his wife).

Happy New Year, Carol.

Mango Lane said...

Amen and happy new year!

Barbara said...

Carol - You write passionately about the Bible - are you a Bible scholar?

Carol said...

Yes Dwayne, the Bible is filled with people that we can learn from, either by their good or bad example.

Excellent point, L'Envoi. Jesus was a descendant of Ruth and Boaz.

Mango, nice to hear from you via the blog!

Barbara,
Yes, I believe passionately in the truth of the Bible. I am glad to be able to share some of what I have learned here.
I think of myself as a Bible student.

zeb said...

As a student I view the Bible as a historical document. There is simply no end to the depth of this book. A lifetime enjoyably
flashes by in it's amazing study. What can I say? You're either into it or you are not.
I am a musician and of course I feel that everyone would have a more enjoyable life if they pursued one art or another.
However I would never push this idea on anyone. If they would rather watch tv or amass sports trivia that is not my concern. It's their life. Not mine.
Choose carefully what you wish to pack into these moments that pass quickly in front of you never to be seen again, until the time when moments are no more

Carol said...

Well said, Zeb. Thank you.

sister celtic said...

ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS.. I HAVE ATTENDED BIBLE STUDIES THAT TEACH THIS GODLY STANDARD OF A WOMAN.. RUTH WAS ALL THAT YOU SAID.. JUST LOVE HER.. SHE WAS THE PROVERBS WOMAN LAST CHAP. IN PROVERBS.. GOD BLESS YOU CAROL AS WE ALL TRY TO PLEASE THE LORD AND BE WOMEN FOR HIM...AMEN SISTA!