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Ruth:  Week 3

Ruth: Week 3

🤓Did you know that the book of Ruth follows the book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible? When Proverbs asks, “A wife of noble character who can find?” it is as if the scribes are putting up a neon sign to flash, “Ruth is worthy!” So, what circumstances did Ruth overcome to become this worthy woman?
🌾Ruth was a Moabite: the nation of Moab was an ancient enemy of Israel and God had warned his people to stay away from their idolatry (Num. 25, 2 Kings 3). Ruth overcame her idolatrous upbringing and began actively following the God of Israel and lovingly caring for Naomi (1:16).
🌾Ruth was a widow: In this ancient culture widows had no way to make a living without the land and resources of their husbands and had no protection from exploitation. But God provided safety for Ruth through guardian-redeemer Boaz (2:10).
🌾Ruth was living in poverty: with no land of their own the only option was for Ruth to glean leftover crops from other farmers’ fields; this was a practice set by God in Lev. 19 to care for the poor and the foreigner. Ruth gleaned nearly 30 pounds of grain from Boaz’ fields (2:17). That’s a lot of bread, and fitting in Bethlehem—a town whose name means “house of bread.”
With God’s providence, Ruth overcame multiple obstacles with determination and grit, to then be exalted and blessed by the elders and the women of Bethlehem who exclaimed, “Praise be to the Lord…For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons” (4:14-15).
Photo credit: “Ruth,” by Dikla Laor Photography. A photo of a woman with a bundle of barley on her back out gleaning in a weedy field, with the hills of Moab in the far distance. https://diklalaor.photography/ruth/