There was a dreadful famine in Israel and, wanting to protect and feed his family, a father from Bethlehem moved his wife and two sons to neighbouring Moab. Here there was food, provision - and grief; for the caring father died. The two sons found comfort in Moab, and new joy came to the grieving family as each took a bride. Did their mother allow herself to hope again? To look beyond her loss to the happy expectation of grand-children? But ah, no! Not one but both her sons died; the family that went to Moab for survival was decimated beyond belief! [Ruth 1:1-12] No wonder Mum, Naomi, wailed, “Yahweh’s hand has gone out against me…the Almighty has made my life very bitter!” [Ruth 1:13 & 20]
The story of Ruth is a beautiful love story, starting with life-changing tragedy and ending in life-affirming joy. As a Moabite, Ruth should not have been allowed into the family of Israel [Deuteronomy 23:3], and yet she became the great-grandmother of Israel’s greatest and most famous king. One asks, Did Yahweh send Elimelech to Moab specifically to ‘collect’ Ruth? Or, having chosen Ruth, did He bring her into the life of grieving Chilion to forward His own purpose? His ways are beyond our understanding, past finding out! [Romans 11:33]
In His infinite purpose Yahweh chose Ruth as carefully as, later, He chose Miriam; pairing Ruth with Boaz as wisely as He paired Miriam with Joseph.
Boaz married Ruth because he stood as a ‘kinsman-redeemer’ to the family; given the ruling against Moabites, his action showed humility, obedience and kindness. Yahweh vindicated Boaz by giving his wife a son through whose line, eventually, He would send His own Son into the world. Naomi, who had been so bitter, knew reviving joy when the new baby was placed in her arms; but she would never know that out of the ashes of her grief would come an amazing, world-changing miracle!
Yahweh over-ruled Himself by accepting Ruth and extended His love by placing her in the royal line that would bear Yahshua. No-one is beyond the reach of redemption! What may seem like ashes, in Yahweh’s purpose, can give birth to something amazing!
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