Lessons From Ruth

In an historical arrangement with Sight and Sound Theaters, Lancaster Bible College is presenting the musical, “Ruth,” based on the Biblical book of the same name.

At the beginning of the story, a woman by the name of Naomi packed up and moved from Judah to Moab due to a terrible famine that was affecting her family. Hoping for a better life, Ruth and her husband move to Moab, along with their two boys.

For a time, life was good. The two sons grew up and eventually married Moabite women. But, in a tragic turn of events, Naomi’s husband and both her sons died. Bitter and desperate, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem in Judah. Her daughter-in-law Ruth came with her, since she had also lost her husband. This is an interesting literary twist; in Moab Naomi was the foreigner. But back in Bethlehem, Ruth was the stranger and the foreigner.

While in Judah, God worked out an amazing plan. Ruth is gleaning in the fields of a landowner named Boaz. Gleaning is a system whereby widows and foreigners can harvest leftover grain in the fields. Ruth and Boaz meet, and in a marvelous series of events, fall in love, marry, and have a child.

What’s remarkable about this story is that Boaz was qualified as a “kinsman redeemer” to take her as his wife. Based on Deuteronomy 25:5–6, a kinsman redeemer is a a relative of a man who dies should marry that man’s widow in order to perpetuate his lineage through this woman. Boaz was a relative to Ruth’s husband who had passed away; so, he was qualified to marry her and perpetuate his lineage. So, even in the midst of Ruth and Naomi’s awful affliction, God still had a plan to take care of them.

Here are three important facts that I learned from the story.

First, God is concerned about all people regardless of race, nationality, or status. Naomi was a foreigner in Maob, and Ruth was not a Jew. Even though many discriminated against her, God loved her just the same. He loves all people just the same.

Second, there is no such thing as an unimportant person in God’s eyes. Naomi was just a poor widow, and so was Ruth. Poor people in a small town. Ruth was living in a foreign land away from her family. But God saw her as important and His plan for her life put her in the lineage of Jesus (as the grandmother to King David).

Third, if God uses “little people,” He certainly uses little things to accomplish great plans. Seemingly inconsequential events and unconnected decisions that add up to important pieces in God’s big plan. He pulled together events such as the famine, Naomi’s relocation to Moab, their return to Bethlehem, Boaz’ bloodline, and many other events just to ensure that Ruth could be a part of His plan. And God does that same thing in our lives today!

(Ruth the Musical is being presented at LBC; check out tickets here. And we have developed a tandem Bible study course as well. Click here to register.)

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