Ruth 3:7-4:22; John 4:43-45; Psalms 105:16-26; Proverbs 22:28-29
OT: “Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I am buying from Naomi everything that belonged to Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, to perpetuate the deceased man’s name on his property, so that his name will not disappear among his relatives or from the gate of his hometown. You are witnesses today.” …Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. He slept with her, and the Lord granted conception to her, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel. He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. Indeed, your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became a mother to him. The neighbor women said, “A son has been born to Naomi,” and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:9-10, 13-17 CSB)
The Moabite people were a result of an incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:36-37). When the nation of Israel returned to their promised land after their 40 years in the wilderness, instead of allowing the Children of Israel to pass through their land, the Moabites hired Balaam to pronounce a curse on them (Numbers 22). Because of that, the Lord forbade Israel from welcoming the Moabites into their nation (Deuteronomy 23:3-6). Those facts make the story of Ruth even more amazing, and go to show the merciful nature of the Lord God. When things weren’t going so well in Israel, Elimelech, along with his wife and two sons, “abandoned ship” for the nation of Moab. Instead of relying on the promised blessing of the Lord, Elimelech decided to take matters in his own hand; which opened the door to tragedy and bitterness. Ironically, while the Jewish Elimelech’s unfaithfulness led the family into death and loss, it was the Moabitess Ruth’s faithfulness that brought the family back into blessing. Although Ruth came from a cursed people, her faithfulness to Naomi and her submission to the ways of the Lord erased the curse from her life and placed her on the path to unexpected blessing. God is no respecter of persons and does not favor one nation, ethnicity, or people group over another (Acts 10:34-35). If you place your faith fully on Him, He fully removes from you the curse of sin. Regardless of your heritage or your past, you can be redeemed from your heritage and past through faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. That is what happened to Ruth. She left her past behind, fully embraced the God of Israel, and obediently walked in His ways. The result: not only was she redeemed, but her family was redeemed… and this cursed descendant of an abominable father-daughter relationship became the great-grandmother of the great King David. If that wasn’t enough, she is also named in the lineage of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. What a turning point! What a transformation! What a heritage! Oh the beauty, power, and potential of redemption born out of complete faithfulness.