This short book in the Old Testament is the first of two books named after women in the entire Bible. One may wonder why she is included in the Scripture. After all, she is not of Hebrew descent but was brought in through marriage. However, through her story, we see the faithfulness to God and God’s grace. We also learn that everyone is welcome to be part of God’s story. Finally, we know how God works through families and salvation history. Ruth would become the great-grandmother of Israel’s greatest king, David.
Read Ruth 1:1-4:22
Isn’t it amazing that such a sad beginning to this tale ends up with a beautiful love story? And, all the way through it, we see God’s hand orchestrating events. The Lord is present in the painful situations and the pleasant ones. I am reminded of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” You may have heard the cliche phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” People may even reference this verse. I think that is a wrong interpretation of Romans 8:28. Instead, it seems to say that things can happen without reason, at least for those not seeking to live in the Lord. Instead, we should say, “everything can have a holy purpose or else it happens in vain.” Ruth demonstrated that even the death of her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law, could lead to God’s glory through faithfulness. May we be found faithful and find handfuls of purpose along the way (Ruth 2:16).