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by Jean Martz

There are three significant verses in the beautiful love story of Ruth that reveal her character and godly life.

    Ruth 1:16
    ..."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 2:16
    "Let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them."

    Ruth 3:18
    "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall..."

Words that have been attributed to this lovely woman are faithful, meek, courteous, loyal, responsible, gentle, loving, caring, unselfish, pure, generous, decisive, persevering, obedient, humble, devoted, industrious and dependable. What is there about Ruth's life that makes people describe her in this fashion?

From a little child, she lived with the foreboding fear that one day her parents would be called upon to offer her as a sacrifice to the god of Moab, Chemosh, who was worshipped by child sacrifice. As a young woman, she met Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon and Chilion. She particularly felt drawn to Naomi and Mahlon (historians say). She soon learned what made Mahlon and his family kind, so pure, so godly. It was their faith in the true God, Jehovah. She wanted to belong to this God of Israel, the God of Mahlon and Naomi. She became the bride of Mahlon and, no doubt, learned how to accept and worship Jehovah.

Remembering the story of the deaths of Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion which led to the outward confession of Ruth's faith—“... thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.” This confession was basic and foundational to her future as she and Naomi set out for Bethlehem. Some of those words that describe Ruth can be seen as she ventures out in this unknown territory to provide for Naomi—responsible, loyal, loving, caring, unselfish, persevering, dependable, devoted, industrious.

As Boaz enters the picture, he is used of God to provide for Naomi's and Ruth's needs for he purposefully had grain left in the field for them, "handfuls of purpose." God in His providence used Boaz to provide for and protect them. As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Boaz is a kinsman to Ruth and as a result of the law, if no other kinsman is ahead of him, he can have Ruth for his wife. After careful instructions and guidance from Naomi, she carries out her part of the revealed law. Now, it is time for Naomi to offer support and encouragement to this "stranger" who is so unaware of the workings of Israel's laws. Her heart must have been anxious, even fearful, and so the words—"Sit still my daughter until thou know how the matter will fall."

From these three verses there is seen:

  1. Ruth's declaration of her faith in Jehovah (1:16).
  2. God's provision (2:16) for His child—not only food, shelter, the love of Naomi and Boaz but for putting her in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
  3. Ruth's faith, trust and obedience were tested (3:18).

What is the practical reaction to Ruth's story?

  1. Be thankful for your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
  2. Rejoice because He has provided for you.
  3. Sit still, be patient as the Lord reveals the next step in His plan for your life—"know how the matter will fall."

In Him,
Jean Martz

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