It seems incredible that Ruth would even consider putting her faith in Naomi’s God, and being willing to follow him, when Naomi had just attributed her difficulties to God’s hand being against her (Ruth 1:13). But she did, and we read of Boaz recognising this loyalty not only to Naomi, but to God:
‘Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband – how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”’
As the story unfolds, we come to know Ruth as a woman of humility, faithfulness, radical sacrificial love, and fearlessness as she ventures into the unknown, resulting in her finding a far superior refuge than she would have had in Moab.
Like Job, Naomi initially felt God had become the enemy. However their’ tragedies were part of a larger series of events that would result in God’s blessing in their personal circumstances and growth in faith. In Naomi’s case, this also included preparing the lineage for Christ’s birth through Ruth in a way that nobody involved could see.
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8:28)
Like Job, Naomi initially felt God had become the enemy. However their’ tragedies were part of a larger series of events that would result in God’s blessing in their personal circumstances and growth in faith.
We are called to live as foreigners in a difficult world, yet this book encourages us to have hope – and in that hope, we should live lives of Christ-exalting courage in our commitment to him. His purposes are for the good and greater joy of his people. Even during the time of the judges, God was paving the way for their Messiah’s birth. Even now, he is preparing Jesus’ second coming and the full revelation of our salvation and his glory (1 Pet 1:5-9).
Anna Johnston, The Church of God in Leigh