One of the major themes of the entire Bible is God blessing the entire world through His people, not just taking care of His own in one particular land. This was part of the original promise to Abraham, that he would be a father of many nations, not just one (Genesis 17:4). It was also the original mission of Israel, to be a “light to the nations” and bring God’s glory to other lands outside of their own (Isaiah 49:6). That mission has now extended to the Church, as we proclaim salvation to the ends of the earth, not to just one people-group or nation (Matthew 5:14-16). With this in mind, we come to the story of Ruth, a non-Israelite who was blessed by God for her faithfulness to her mother-in-law.
Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, had just lost her husband and both of her sons. I can’t even imagine the pain that she must have been feeling; no parent should ever have to bury their child (let alone two!). She was wanting to go back to Judah amongst her native people, but Ruth refused to let her go alone. Ruth followed her into a country that she didn’t know, and put herself at the mercy of Naomi’s God, YHWH, to take care of her. Because of her radical faithfulness and trust, she eventually meets the man of her dreams, Boaz, and the two live happily ever after. In fact, their family line is the one that Jesus would eventually come through (see Matthew 1:5). What’s even more impressive about this love story is that all this was happening during the tragic reign of Israel’s judges, just one book before this one. In one of the darkest times in Israel’s history, God was still working behind-the-scenes, creating beauty in the midst of chaos.
Questions to Consider
- Do you trust that God is doing wonders outside of your native country? Do you consider believers of other countries to be brothers and sisters? Will you pray for them today?
- When people are going through a difficult time, sometimes the best thing we can do is simply be there for them and walk with them through it. Have you ever had a friend be there for you when you needed them most? Are you willing to be that friend to someone else? Sometimes people don’t need advice; they just need a shoulder to cry on.
- If you are in a dark season of life, God is still working out something beautiful, even if you can’t see it yet. Will you continue to trust God when life seems bleak? Will you remain faithful to Him, even when it seems like nothing is going right?