Ruth - Blessed By Her Obedience

06/28/2016 10:41

The book of Ruth teaches us about a woman's obedience and how her dedication led to her many blessings.

In the days of Ruth judges ruled in Israel. There was no democratic society, no presidents, congressman, governors or the like. The judges' decision was law.

A man by the name of Elimelech who was from Bethlehem left his country because of a terrible famine. He settled in Moab with his wife Naomi and his two sons (Mahlon and Chilion). As the years passed Elimelech passed away. Naomi's sons were grown now and had taken wives (Orpah and Ruth) so she was not alone although I am sure she missed Elimelech terribly.

In time Naomi's sons passed away leaving Naomi and her two daughters-in-law all alone. With nothing left to keep them in Moab, Naomi decided to return to Israel where she had relatives. She had heard that the Lord had blessed the people by giving them good crops once again. Of course, she would take her daughter-in-laws with her as they were all the family she had in this strange land. And so they began their trip back to her homeland.

As they journeyed to Israel Naomi began to think about what she had asked of her daughters-in-law. They were young and attractive and could surely make new lives for themselves. They had fulfilled their duty to her according to the law of the land and she had nothing left to offer them to keep them with her. As she was old, had no more sons, and even if she could marry again and have children she could not ask the women to wait for them to become men.

So Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law  "Why don't you return to your parents' homes". You have been faithful to your husbands and to me. The Lord will surely bless you with another marriage. The women all cried and insisted that they go with Naomi.

Eventually, Naomi convinced Orpah it was the right thing to do, so she reluctantly left and returned to her parents. But Ruth refused to leave Naomi alone. So they returned to Israel where they caused quite a stir upon their arrival. Naomi was bitter now because of the circumstances surrounding her return home. No husband, no sons and no way to survive.

Since their were no men in their lives at the moment Ruth decided it was up to her to provide as Naomi was old. She said I will go to the fields and glean the free grain left behind by the reapers.

Ruth set out to find a field and found herself in the field of Boaz. Now Boaz was a relative of Naomi's and he was very well off. As Naomi worked diligently in the field Boaz returned and asked who was the girl in the field. He was informed that she was the daughter-in-law of Naomi his relative. She had been working hard all morning never stopping except to get a drink of water. This impressed Boaz.

After introducing himself to her he instructed her to stay in his field - never to go to another and that he would make sure that she was protected. He also instructed his reapers to leave additional heads of barley for her to glean. Boaz showed her favor because of her love and kindness to Naomi.

Upon returning home that evening Ruth brought with her all the barley she gleaned and even the remainder of her lunch. She told Naomi of her days adventures and they both rejoiced as surely the Lord had blessed them and Moab as well.

As time passed Naomi said to Ruth it is time for you to get a husband. She immediately thought of Boaz as he was a single man. In those days it was proper for a relative to take the wife and inherited land of a kinsman so as to continue the bloodline. So Naomi instructed Ruth as to what she should do to gain the favor of Boaz.

Ruth being the obedient daughter-in-law did exactly as Naomi had instructed. She put on here finest clothes and went to where he was. Taking precaution as to not let him see her until the evening was done. As he slept she lay down at his feet and slept making sure not to wake him.

When Boaz awoke startled in the middle of the night he discovered her there. They talked as to why she was there and it was settled he would handle all the details in the morning. Quietly she returned to Naomi with a gift from Boaz and awaited the details to be worked out.

Now there was a slight problem with this arrangement there was another relative who was in line before Boaz. According to the law of the land this relative was to have first priority and if he could not or would not take on the responsibility then it would go to the next in line.

Down to the marketplace he went to find the relative and some chief men of the village to handle the business. The details about the land and Ruth were presented but the relative was unwilling to take on the task as he did not want Ruth's children to become heir to his land when he died. With this he handed off the responsibilities to Boaz who gladly accepted.

After the proper traditions had been taken care of Boaz married Ruth. The Lord blessed them with a son named Obed who brought much joy to the life of Naomi. For now she had a grandson whom she could care for and bring joy to her days of old. This small boy grew to be the father of Jesse and the grandfather of King David.

Through the sacrifice, dedication and obedience of Ruth her family tree was blessed for generations to come.

What about you? Has life dealt you an unexpected hand? Do you have the faith in the Lord to wait on his blessings for your future? Or have you decided to take your life in your hands and make your own way?

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Topic: Ruth - Blessed By Her Obedience

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