Every summer Beth Moore puts on a bible study via her blog written by select authors. Last year was Jennifer Rothschild and this year was Kelly Minter with a study on the book of Ruth. Oh how I LOVE bible studies! I know it’s important to sit down and spend time reading God’s Word with no agenda, but when I sit down to read God’s Word with a bible study in hand I seem to get so much more out of it! Only because the author of the study seems to know SO MUCH MORE than I do on the topic – which is probably because THEY WROTE IT, not me! I’ve always dreamed of knowing as much information as bible teachers know, but I guess I learn more with each new study, right?!?! :)
I’ve read Ruth before and I knew the famous verse by heart, but I had never studied the book like I did in this summer. Ruth was a widowed Moabitess who traveled from Moab to Bethlehem with her Mother-in-law, Naomi, who was also a widow. Just pause for a moment and imagine that. Naomi had lost her husband AND her two sons. Ruth had lost her husband, her father-in-law AND her sister-in-law who decided to stay in Moab rather then make the journey to Bethlehem (approximately a 40 mile WALK). Could you imagine? Talk about some serious sadness in that family! And now, after all that loss, they have to walk 40 miles back to Naomi’s hometown of Bethlehem (a place she hasn’t been in 10 years and a place where Ruth will be a foreigner). Talk about some difficult circumstances!!
In the midst of difficult circumstances Ruth and Naomi stayed faithful to God, not cursing him for the devastation they felt (well, Naomi may have had her moments, but in the end she knew God was in control the whole time!) Ruth proved especially faithful through her tragedy. Ruth could have turned back and stayed in Moab like her sister-in-law did. Oh, how different would her life would have been if she did! How different our lives would have been! You see, because Ruth stayed with Naomi, she traveled to Bethlehem, came to know the one true God, met Boaz, married him, had a son, who had a son, who had King David, who had a son … who eventually had Jesus! Ruth was in Jesus’ family tree. I’m sure our great God would have found a way for Jesus to enter the world had Ruth turned back, but thankfully He didn’t have to. Ruth was a integral part in Jesus walking the earth. What a legacy to leave!
I’m sure when Naomi lost her husband and 2 sons, and when Ruth lost her husband they weren’t thinking about what greater things God was going to do with their lives down the road. They were heartbroken, devastated, a complete and udder mess – just like you and I would be. But the awesome part of the story is God’s undying love and faithfulness for those who love Him. God brought great blessings out of their tragedy because of the trust they had in Him the whole time. I can only hope that if such disaster were to strike my life that I would act as Ruth and Naomi did.
There is so much more the the story that I am leaving out, but if there is one thing I got out of reading this book it’s the vast purpose and importance God has for our life. It’s so hard to see that in difficult times, but trusting in Him is all we can do. We must live in faithfulness to God, knowing that the significance of our life will extend far beyond our lifetime and that the rewards will outweigh any sacrifice we may have to endure. God is faithful and Ruth is a true testament to that!
.. .. ..
I was so fortunate to be able to do this study with an amazing group of girls. Having Christian friends to study with, talk about life with, and grow in Christ with is so amazing. God uses these women in so may different ways in my life and I am forever thankful for each one of them. I am a better person because of them. Not because they make me feel good, but because they speak TRUTH into my life. And sometimes that TRUTH isn’t always want I WANT to hear, but it’s what I NEED to hear. Thank you girls for living life with me. You are “those women” in my life and in my child’s life. I love you all so dearly!!