Chapter 19 – Ruth
We know more about Ruth as a daughter-in-law than as a mother. After her husband died she chose to go back with her mother-in-law, who was also widowed, to a strange land with strange customs and a different religion. Ruth must have seen something in her mother-in-law, Naomi, that she wanted for herself. Ruth is remembered for her pledge of total devotion and loyalty to Naomi. She clung to Naomi even at the cost of renouncing her people and her gods in favor of Naomi’s people, the Israelites, and Naomi’s God, Yahweh: "Your people will be my people and your God my God". And Ruth extended her commitment still further, beyond death itself: "Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried”. You often hear Ruth’s words of devotion repeated in wedding ceremonies.
By following Naomi’s instructions Ruth landed another husband, Boaz, and had a son named Obed. The name Obed in Hebrew means “service” and “worship”. Then, as now, mothers spent a lot of thought on what to name their children. This choice tells us what was in Ruth’s heart and mind.
The women of the town rejoiced in his birth and said to Ruth’s mother-in-law:
“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
Wow, what an acclamation. And as far as family lineage goes – Obed had a son named Jesse who had a son named David who became King. Keep following the line and you’ll come to Jesus. Ruth was one of the better known “moms” in this line.
Next Saturday – Sarah