By Kelly Wise Valdes
Throughout the Bible, there are many stories of strong and heroic women. In this new series, we will explore a story of a faithful biblical woman each month. With their strong faith, the women of the Bible continue to teach us how to live authentic, faith-filled lives. No matter what circumstances are, we can find ourselves in their stories.
The Book of Ruth is one of only two books of the Bible named after women (the other is Esther.) Even though the book is only four chapters, it contains many principles that impact Christians today. At the beginning of the book, Ruth is living in her home nation of Moab. Moabites were discriminated against by the Israelites. After she married her husband, tragedy struck her family. Her husband dies, as did her father-in-law and brother-in law.
Ruth loved her mother-in-law, and had great compassion for her because she had lost her husband and both of her sons. Ruth’s sister-in-law, Orpah, made the choice to return to Moab, but Ruth decided to remain loyal to her mother-in-law and to the God of Israel. Ruth said, in one of the most famous lines in the Bible, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Ruth and her mother-in-law traveled back to the City of Bethlehem, where they decided to settle. When they arrived, the owner of a nearby field, Boaz, hired both women to work for him. Boaz not only noticed Ruth’s beauty, inside and out, but also admired her loyalty to her mother-in-law. He saw to it that she was treated well and protected. Ruth reciprocated by displaying humility and appreciation, which ultimately blossomed into love.
Boaz and Ruth married, andshe entered into the lineage of Christ, as she became the great-grandmother of the greatest king in Israel, King David. Ruth’s acceptance into the nation of Israel reveals that God loves all people of all nations.
The story of Ruth has captivated Christians over the years in many ways. Ruth showed respect and honor to her mother-in-law and God. She worked hard in the field to provide food for them. Ruth proved to be a woman of integrity with Boaz. Everything she did represented a woman of great character and God honored her. Her bravery, faith and obedience have encouraged many to be better followers of Christ. The best lesson we learn from Ruth is that with faith in God, the best is yet to come.