RUTH THE MOABITE

By Mrs. Grace Godwin Bioko

The woman Ruth is one of the greatest women of virtue recorded by the bible, her story is recorded in the book of Ruth, which is in the old testament of the bible. The book is immediately after the book of judges and is followed by the book of 1Samuel. The name Ruth is a feminine name of Hebrew origin which means “friend”, “friendship” or “compassionate friend. It is derived from the Hebrew word Re’ut. Ruth is one of the two females to have a book written after them, with the second one being Ester. She is equally one of the few women mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Mathew.

Ruth is the daughter in-law of Naomi who is the wife of Elimelech, and they have two sons together whose names are Mahlon and Chilion, these people belong to the tribe of Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. But Elimelech and his family at a point left their home town to another country called Moab in search of food because there was famine. In the process Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died and she was left with her two sons, both of them got married to Moabite women Orpah and Ruth, but again both of Naomi’s sons died, which made Naomi a widow and a childless woman. However, she got the story that the Lord has blessed Israel and the famine was over, this made her to decide to return to her home land. So she told her two daughters in-law to go back to their parents’ houses because their husbands are no more. But they wouldn’t and she kept on reminding them of how she is a widow and childless and she can no longer bear children for them to re-marry. So Orpah saw reason with what she said and kissed her goodbye and left, Naomi turned to Ruth and tried to convince her, encouraging to do likewise, and Ruth was like “that’s Orpah and I am Ruth, if she has gone good  and fine”; and she said something remarkable in Ruth 1:16-17 “and Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: they people shall be my people and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” At this point Naomi Ruth’s mother in-law was convinced and saw a  determined real woman, and she adhered to Ruth’s requests

Morals from the story:

1. The permanency of Marriage:

Ruth saw marriage as a permanent and not a temporary appointment. Most of the times ladies enter marriages with the mentality that if it go soar they will leave, unlike the mindset of Ruth, she went extra miles that even death wasn’t enough to separate her from the Elimelech family. Ladies going into marriage should trust God for the capacity to stay despite the temporary challenges of life in the journey of achieving destiny.

2. Leaving and cleaving:

In Ruth 1:16-17 Ruth said, “entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: they people shall be my people and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

That passage is filled with deep truth that Ruth lived with all her life; she perceived marriage as leaving everything of hers and cleaving to everything about her husband and she took it a step further that even after her husband’s death she was still cleaving. Women must adopt this attitude of leaving everything and cleaving to their spouses, you should be ready to go where he goes, to lodge where he lodges, to accept her husband’s people as her people, to accept the God of her husband as her God; to the point of death and burial. This is Ruth’s perspective about marriage and the Lord rewarded her for taking the right stand.

3. Loyalty in the midst of challenges

The life of Elimelech and that of Naomi was full of challenges, hunger chased them away from their country, Naomi lost her husband lost her children, and felt she should go back home because home was more blessed than where she was. In all this Ruth’s loyalty was not shaken. She remained committed to her marital vows even in the midst of the challenges of the family she got married to. As a spouse your loyalty is tested during challenges, and your ability to remain loyal is what makes you a loyal partner.

4. Remain committed to your conviction

Ruth had her conviction before and after the death of her husband, her mother in-law tried to persuade her to leave, her co-wife left; all this are enough reasons to make her change her mind and leave, but she remained committed and undeterred of her decision to stick to her marital vows and the Lord finally reward her for remaining committed to her conviction. She became among the women in the linage of our Lord Jesus Christ. Never allow any one to talk you out of your goals. No matter what or how the person press hard to prove his point. Always insist and stand on your ground because there is always light at the end of every tunnel.

5. The journey to success is always rough at the beginning

Ruth and Naomi had a very rough and challenging early life; widowhood and loneliness were part of their lives. Remember the challengess Naomi and Ruth would face in their home town as widows, when you read the book of Ruth very well you will see how Ruth found herself in a foreign land, facing economic hardships and social challenges. She decided to glean in the fields, picking up leftover grains, as a means of providing for herself and Naomi. This was a humble and labor-intensive task, reflecting the harsh conditions she endured.

Despite the rough start and societal obstacles, Ruth’s work caught the attention of Boaz, a wealthy landowner. Boaz showed kindness and generosity towards Ruth, providing her with extra grain and protection. Ruth’s diligence, integrity, and positive attitude stood her out, paving the way for her to rise above her initial struggles.

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