Hello! Happy start of a new week.
This week, I have decided to kick off a new series on my blog where we look at some influential women of the bible and their stories. I have 5 women in mind that I feel set great examples for us on how to live Godly lives. I am really excited about this series because these stories are some of my favorites from the Bible. We will kick it off this week and continue throughout the next month or so. I will email these out with my weekly email so you don’t miss one.
I hope you follow along and gain something from looking at the stories and attributes of these brave women of the Bible.
The first woman I want to focus on while in this series is Ruth. To give some background and context for you, Ruth was the great-grandmother to King David, she belonged to the women of Moab, and married the son of an Israelite family (Lot) while in Moab. Soon after Ruth and Lot married, Ruth lost her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in law. The only family she had remaining was Lot’s mother, Naomi. This series of unfortunate events left Ruth with two choices: remain in her home in Moab or follow her mother-in-law to the land of Judah, a new and unfamiliar place.
Let's look at a few verses of scripture quickly:
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from 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.17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Reading this, you may be thinking “okay…so?” But think about it this way. You married someone from another city and moved with him and his family. Then everyone but his mother dies. Your life has drastically changed and whatever life looks like for you next, is unknown and scary and lonely. Ruth is in this boat, with a huge choice to make. She decided to act out of faith rather than fear by following her mother-in-law to a new place to be with her. She chose loyalty over comfort. She chose faith over fear. By making this decision, she was acknowledging that God is who He says He is and that she trust Him to provide for her and Naomi. Ruth and Naomi were in a difficult place, feeling burnt out on their luck, and just been handed a mountain of grief to somehow manage through. Yet, these women trusted that God had a plan for their lives and that His purpose would prevail. That is faith!!
Ruth, through it all, continually chose love and loyalty. And because of this, God chose to honor Ruth. God leads Ruth to Boaz, a wealthy man who can provide for Ruth and Naomi. They marry, have a child, and God’s redeems the brokenness of Ruth's story. Ruth’s obedience also leads her to the lineage of Christ as their child will later become the grandfather of David. Reflecting God’s character through our interactions and living in obedience please Him. The story of Ruth proved to the Israelites that God cares for His people, listens to their cries, and blesses obedience to Him.
So what can we take away from Ruth's story? Well, there are several things! You see, the story of Ruth really isn't that extraordinary. And that's what makes it so relatable! Ruth isn't from some famous, rich family and she isn't in a high position of power either. She is an ordinary woman, and in fact, when we read the book of Ruth, we see her as a widow from an enemy nation with nothing going her way. What we do see though, is that she is a God-fearing woman who lives her life guided by the Lord and how God uses her life in mighty ways because of it.
Ruth's story teaches us that we are never in a position so poor that God is unable to use us or redeem our lives. Ruth never lost hope, even after losing her husband and her family. She clung to the Lord and showed her loyalty and obedience, trusting that God's plan for her life wasn't finished. And the Lord showed up and redeemed Ruth's story.
It's so easy to loose sight of God's promises when we feel our story is on the opposite end of them. We feel like we are wayyyyyy over here and we can't imagine a way the Lord can get us to the other side. God doesn't promise it will always be easy or that we won't face great loss. But He does promise to never leave our sides and He promises He will redeem all things for His glory. We can trust Him in that.
Life will be hard sometimes. But we can choose to be obedient and loyal to the Lord in the midst of the hardships and He will be there will us through it all. God will honor our devotion to Him. He has a plan for our lives and nothing is great enough to mess that up. And for me, that provides me a huge sigh of relief.
I hope that is encouraging to you and that the story of Ruth reminded you of God's faithfulness and goodness.
My prayer for you:
God, thank you so much for giving us stories such as Ruth's to look to and learn from. Thank you for continuing to show us your kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. God, I just pray for everyone reading this right now- be with them and make your presence known to them this week. We pray that we can continue to be more and more obedient to you and trust in your good plan for our lives and your redeeming power when we go through trying times. We love you so much. Amen!