This week I was going to write about Job and I was so excited to write about Job and his story of resiliency, trial, and faith. I’ll get to have coffee with him later and share it with you but Ruth was laid on my heart in such a way that I couldn’t help but have coffee with her first. God chose her for us and I’m not sure why but I found her in the book I was reading which I randomly picked up and started. I found her when I hopped on YouTube and clicked on a random sermon suggestion. I found her on the top of my Pinterest feed when I haven’t even searched her name.
This week God chose Ruth for us to have coffee with and I truly believe it is because there is someone who needs to hear her story. Whether it was chosen for me or for you – the end result is this, we are looking at Ruth the committed. Ruth is a story that starts tragic yet turns out with a redemptive ending.
Never heard the story of Ruth? Take a moment to watch the quick video below for the rundown of Ruth’s story.
Ruth’s story is the story of restoration through faith because in the midst of the worst days of her life she stays committed. When she realizes that she is now a widow and the mother of her husband is heading back to Israel and she is presented with the option to go to her home with her sister-in-law or go to Isreal with Naomi- she stays committed. She looks at Naomi and says no I love you enough that I will go with you.
“Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
She is a logical woman. She looked at her circumstances. She had been married for 10 years and had no kids, in that day and age, that was unusual. She saw how little she had and she sees Naomi who had even less – lost her husband AND both her sons – and stays committed to Naomi. She goes so far to say “May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:18)
Ruth stayed committed to trusting the Lord. She trusted that her future would be with Naomi in Israel. She didn’t let her earthly situations determine who she was. She didn’t let her situation make her bitter, it made her better. She stayed with Naomi and she worked hard. She trusted Naomi when she instructed her how to approach Boaz. Ruth always knew her future was in the Lord.
On her worst days, Ruth is better than most. God did not show her what her future would hold. ***Spoiler alert *** Ruth’s future held the genealogy of King David and later our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior of the World. No one told her on her worst days that the decision to stay committed to Naomi and follow her to her home would result in her finding her husband Boaz. No one told her that after waiting so long that she’d become a mom. No one told her that it would get better, but know this, God is in the business of making things new and if you woke up this morning and you have a next breath – the Almighty is still working on you.
Ladies taken note that Boaz noticed Ruth before Ruth noticed Boaz. She was working away just trying to feed herself and her mother-in-law by going behind the harvesters and looking for anything left behind. Ruth is described as being an excellent woman, a woman of character the same words used in proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman. Ruth was a living, breathing proverbs 31 woman. She took care of her family (Naomi), she didn’t give up on life, she was honorable in her choice to stay with Naomi and follow God and be committed to them. Boaz noticed her and use those same word. Later he realizes that he is a kinsman redeemer. Meaning he could marry her and fulfill the responsibility to her late husband and have her first husband’s family name carried on. Boaz was an honorable man.
To my single ladies out there, WAIT FOR YOUR BOAZ. He noticed her and he instructed his men to protect her and to watch over her and even to leave a little bit extra food behind for her to gather. Know this, he was a businessman so he knew that made money off of what they collected yet he said collect less so she could get more. Boaz was a good, honorable man. Women, wait for your Boaz.
Men, be a Boaz. I will not call any man out but I will call you up. Calling out implies that you need to be embarrassed or shamed but I don’t believe that for even a second. No, you need to be respected but also know that you have even greater potential. I know incredible men, I have them in my family even. But what great men know is there is always room for growth and improvement. Men, this is a moment where you will be called UP. Up to the potential I see in you and others see in you. Called up to be the man God made you to be. Called up to the plate and told to be a man today. Start searching for women like Ruth and pursing them. I love Boaz because he was a Godly man. He was a generous man but he also knew to let Ruth be at times. He didn’t outright give her the harvest, he did let her work. He didn’t go up to her and brag that he was keeping her safe and having his men leave some behind. He was confident in the Lord and when he was approached by Ruth, he said he would not rest until the situation was resolved and that she had a redeemer for her family.
This story is a perfect parallel of the story of the Messiah. We are Ruth and Naomi – at a loss, hurting, in need of a redeemer and God sends us our Boaz except that our Boaz, named Jesus, is far better. He is generous, he gave up his life for our salvation. He did not rest until the situation was resolved. God redeemed us through Jesus and he promised to never leave us so like Ruth and Naomi, we never have to go back to our worst days and wallow in loss and despair. No, we are His and while we may not have the Messiah in our blood line, we do have God as our Father.