True beauty is rare, and seldom recognized by the one who possesses it. Often the hardest person to fight for is yourself. But you must. Your heart is needed. You must be present and engaged in order to love well and fight on behalf of others. Without you, much will be lost. You are a queen whose husband is the Shepherd-king | ”Unspoken” , a novel by Francine Rivers
Nowhere does it say that Ruth was a beautiful woman like Sarah, Rebekah, or Rachel. We do not know whether she was or not, but we do know that she had an inner beauty, a meek and quiet spirit, an unpretentious humility that made her one of the loveliest women in Scripture. She bowed low before Boaz in genuine gratitude and said, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10). Her humility was evident again when she said, “You have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants” (Ruth 2:13). There was nothing put on about this. It was real. And this genuine humility, this meek and quiet spirit is one of the most valuable assets a woman can have. Peter says it is of great value in God’s sight (1 Pet. 3:4).
“We do not want merely to see beauty … We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become a part of it.” – C.S. Lewis
Ruth story is much like our own. She doesn’t have a great position or come from a famous, godly family. She’s a widow from an enemy nation with no prospects. Yet, God moves so mightily in her story and uses it to encourage millions.
In the beginning of the book Ruth is living in her home nation of Moab; a place and people that the Israelites frowned down upon. On top of that, she has lost her husband and is now living with her widowed mother-in-law. The pain Ruth must have been in was immense. As she embarked on her first journey to Israel, she must have been nervous. Ruth had so many reasons to shrink into a shell and live in obscurity. But she didn’t. Ruth didn’t allow her past to hold her back but believed there was life still to be lived and move forward in that confidence.
Ruth showed remarkable faith that there was still a purpose for her ahead. Faith to believe that God was who He said He was. And faith to believe that God would provide for her and Naomi.
Ruth had no reason to believe she had earned anything but thought God was everything she needed. Ruth believed God would provide and in that place of faith God did a miraculous work to redeem Ruth. God took a poor, hurting outcast and healed her, provided for her, and brought her a great love with Boaz.Redemption is possible in your life.
Perhaps one of the best parts of Ruth’s story is the legacy God established through her. God brought her and Boaz together and they conceived a child. That child would be in the lineage of Jesus, the Savior of the world. Ruth, a Moabite, was made part of the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5)
God’s fingerprints all over Ruth’s story and there is no doubt He was at work the entire time. It was a long and difficult journey, but it ended with redemption. Ruth started out empty, but she ended full!
Are you a Ruth?
God desires for us to see Ruth and Boaz’s union as an example of how He “notices”, loves, and redeems each of us, especially those who feel as though life has ravaged all promise and purpose.
Ruth was a woman who lacked the right pedigree, position, and purity that most people would have expected a man like Boaz to desire:
She was not Jewish, she was a foreigners she was not a virgin, but a widower she was not wealthy; she was less than a servant girl
Yet, she obtained favor from an honorable man who loved her wholeheartedly and willfully provided, protected, covered, prayed for, and ultimately redeemed her.
Boaz loved Ruth because of her character and her heart. When Boaz agreed to redeem Ruth, one of the first things he said was, “All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character” (Ruth 3:11). He felt blessed to have such a woman and in turn blessed her with the “rest” that Naomi prayed Ruth would one day find in the home of another husband (Ruth 1:9), the rest that many of us long for and can find in God.
So now when I optimistically prophesies into my future, instead of weeping, I employ my tongue as the “pen of a ready writer” calling those things which be not as though they were (Rom 4:17), believing that I can be blessed with a second chance Boaz, God’s very best.
We are expected to learn from her story and to follow her example by genuinely submitting to Jehovah God whom she trusted her present and her future with. And to the woman who feels that your situation is so dire and your past so shameful, that no one is equipped to love someone like you–be encouraged!
What made Boaz perfect for Ruth had very little to do with his relationship to Naomi, his influence, or his wealth. It was the fact that he was the son of Rahab (Mat 1:5), a Harlot woman who by grace (undeserved favor) was wedded to one of the Israelite princes. Thus, Boaz spent his childhood in preparation, observing the love and respect his royal father showed to his mother.
Thanks to the glorious God we serve who knows the beginning from the end, Ruth’s second chance love was born to the right set of parents, with the right dispositions and experiences to teach their son how to love Ruth with divine precision before she was even born. What God did for Ruth, He is able to do for you!
Do you struggle with feeling like you are not enough? Do you wonder if your circumstances have taken you beyond God’s plan for your life? Throughout the Bible God speaks to His people of redemption. “Repent and come back to me” He tells them over and over. His arms are always open. If you need God’s strength in your circumstances today, be encouraged! He has promised to leave His Holy Spirit with you to work in and through you to do His good pleasure. Why not pray and ask Him to fill you with a fresh breath of His Spirit today? You can pray a prayer something like this:
“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”