Ruth chapter 4
The story of Ruth is one to behold, to chew on and to ponder on. This young woman left her family and her security to marry her beloved husband. For some reason, she lost her husband and so did her sister-in-law. I cannot imagine the pain that overwhelmed her. Is this the end of me? Could this be my destiny? To love for a moment and for death to rip away the love of my life. Where would I go from here? Who would consider me a bride again? Would I die a widow? I am certain all sorts of thoughts went through this woman’s mind: shock, pain, disappointment and perhaps disbelief. But a time came when a choice had to be made. Naomi was a widow. Not only was she a widow but she had lost two sons. If Ruth was devastated then Naomi was hopeless! At least Ruth was still young – maybe another man may marry and provide for her?
Naomi must have felt extremely helpless! Thereby she gave her daughters-in-law the option to go their own way, for she had nothing to offer them. All that she had was taken away by death and there was no way she was going to stand in the way of these young women’s destinies. Yet Ruth decided to stay and recited these famous words, “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 NIV
Wow! That is a woman who meant every word of her wedding vows. A woman who did not want an easy way out but decided to see beyond her own pain and see the dismay of her mother-in-law. I am sure she thought, if I am hurting then I cannot imagine what Naomi must be going through.Ruth made a very difficult decision to lay down her wants, her future and her desires. She selflessly chose to stick with her mother-in-law although there was no evidence to suggest that the option Ruth chose would benefit her in any way. Against all odds, she chose to stay with Naomi.
God saw Ruth. He saw her selfless heart when perhaps pain had overwhelmed her and she didn’t even know the God of her mother-in-law.
God saw Ruth, and He sees you and me. That decision you made in private, God saw it. When you could have retaliated but chose to listen to the Holy Spirit, God saw it. When you chose to show love when it felt justified to take revenge, God saw it. In your brokenness God sees you. In your anguish He sees you. Hagar made a statement when she encountered the angel of the Lord in the desert, “You are the God who sees me…I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13. So time passed and Ruth carried on loving and caring for her mother-in-law through acts of service. In her service to Naomi, a man noticed Ruth. Her servant heart and faithfulness in serving Naomi caught the attention of this particular man, and He began to be gracious towards her.
God is so worth serving – both in the waiting and when the promise is fulfilled.
There came a time when the kinsman redeemer needed to make a decision as to whether he would buy the land from Naomi. Initially he said yes, however, when he was told that it would mean he would acquire a dead man’s widow, Ruth, the kinsman redeemer changed his mind. With the new findings coming to light, he told the people present that he could not redeem the land because he might endanger his own estate.
In the midst of everything that had happened to Ruth, the last thing she needed was rejection from a man. How embarrassed she may have felt; he wanted the land but the moment he became aware that he would have to take me in as his wife, he changed his mind. I must be unattractive. There must be nothing good enough about me. Yet God saw Ruth. God had a far better plan. I wonder how excited God gets when the plans He has for His children are ready to be revealed
I can imagine God getting excited knowing that the real redeemer was on His way and not only that, but He would be born through the bloodline of Ruth. Wow, wow, wow!! Ruth and Naomi required redemption for the situation they had found themselves in. The person who had the opportunity to redeem them refused to. I wonder how hopeless Ruth and Naomi felt. We are not only widows but we are unwanted widows. What did we ever do wrong? Could it have been the sins of our past catching up with us or the wrongdoings of our forefathers?
I can relate to this. Sometimes when I am going through difficulties and I don’t understand or when I am waiting for a promise from God and I feel the weight of the wait, I find myself reflecting on the past. Perhaps this is happening to me because of the mistakes of my past. I bet the devil has a field day whenever I fall into this trap. But then I am reminded that “I am a new creation in Christ” 2 Corinthians 5:17. And Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Anyway I digress.
God had a specific plan for Ruth. When man rejects you, God’s arms are always open to receive you. Psalm 27:10 states, “though my father and mother may forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” God had the very best for Ruth.
Boaz was God’s very best for Ruth.
PS: God writes the best love stories. He is the author of Ruth and Boaz’s love story and He can be the author of yours too if you trust Him with it. Be sure to see God in everything. God is a storyteller and He is the author of all the best stories ever written. He is not a spoiler so He won’t usually tell you the end, but if you stick with Him, He will surely take you to an ending worth waiting for. And by the way, His plans are always good, there is no evil in Him.
Whatever the circumstances may be, simply lean into the Holy Spirit, follow His directions and stick with God till the very end. No matter the cost, God is worth staying with.