Faith Filled Stories: Ruth
“Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he was intimate with her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son… ‘A son has been born to Naomi’, and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David” Ruth 4:13,17
Ruth wasn’t a book that I thought about regarding infertility. It’s a book about choosing God, overcoming grief, and finding a kinsman redeemer. But there’s a story deep within the pages that was suggested, but not elaborated on. A story of barrenness.
Naomi and her husband, along with their two sons, moved from Israel to Moab because of a famine. Her two boys married Moabite women and they settled in Moab for approximately 10 years. But neither of the sons had children. Then Naomi’s husband and both of her sons died, leaving Naomi and her sons’ wives (Ruth and Orpah) as widows.
Without children, there was no one to care for the women, which was a dire and critical situation in those times. There was no one to support them. I can imagine these women were filled with immense grief and fear. All the men were gone and they had no legacy to follow with.
So, Naomi tried to send the girls back to their birth families to be cared for, and to find another husband as was custom. But Ruth refused to go. She was determined to stay with Naomi, to follow after the Israelite’s God, and to support Naomi in any way she could.
She was no longer a wife and had never been a mother. She was on her own with no hope of ever being one either.
When we are stuck in this position, it is terrifying to think or hope of ever having that opportunity either. Negative thoughts like, “why would a man ever want to marry a widow” or “I’ll never have children now” can come to mind. Doubt and deflation take over.
But Ruth chose to be faithful to God regardless of her circumstances. She served her mother-in-law well and did whatever she could to provide for them. She grew in the Lord and adapted to a different culture and way of life.
Let’s take a moment to think about her circumstances. Widow and childless. Adapting to a foreign culture. Away from family, friends, her god, culture, and comforts. She didn’t know anyone aside from Naomi, who had become bitter and hard.
Yet, she never complained. She got up every day and did what she knew to do. She waited. She prayed. She served.
And the Lord showed favour to her. A relative of the family embraced her, loved her, and married her. He graciously helped this woman and her mother-in-law.
The Lord blesses those who faithfully serve Him. Not only did He bless them with marriage. He blessed them with a child that would grow up to become the grandfather of King David, and thus be added into the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Ruth had no idea that her decision to follow the Lord and be faithful to Him would result in adding to the legacy of the greatest King ever to walk on this earth. This nobody of a woman, from a different culture, was grafted into the family of God because she sought after the One True Lord and King.
She also had the grace and privilege to be the great-grandmother of King David. I wonder if she was still alive when David was a little shepherd boy? Did she share God’s rich truth with him then? Did she help create a love for God and the Scriptures for David? To show him that it was worth remaining faithful to God at all costs?
Remember that you and your story are important. Ruth had no idea the legacy and impact her life had made this side of heaven. She didn’t know that her name and story would be added into the Bible, the inspired word of God. Nor would she have known that her name would be inscribed in the genealogical list of Jesus (See Matthew 1:5); A rare moment for any woman.
This is something magnificent to dwell on as you head into Christmas. I know that this is always a tough holiday for you. What you don’t know about your story now will be revealed to you in heaven. The connections and dots that your life made towards the return of our Saviour have all been recorded and your impact will be brought to light.
Remain faithful to your King. Wait on Him. Pray to Him. Serve Him as Ruth did. You don’t know what God has in store for you.