The scene opens with Naomi and her little family with her husband and 2 sons... the husband dies but her sons marry Orpah and Ruth. Then the sons die and the ladies are left to fend for themselves. Naomi tells them to go back home and find another husband, Orpah obliges, but Ruth stays with her. My favorite verse: 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Back in Naomi's homeland, Ruth takes up working in a field owned by Boaz (Naomi's cousin); gleaning the leftover crops after the fields have been harvested. Boaz knows her story and asks her to not leave his field but to stick around... me thinks he has a crush :) He even tells his men to not gather as thoroughly as usual so that she will gather more... kinda sweet!
Naomi tells Ruth to go to the threshing room floor and wait for Boaz to fall asleep--then lay her head on his feet. He awakes and is deeply touched and blesses her. He then redeems some land belonging to Naomi and takes Ruth as his wife who gives birth to a son.
I've known the story of Ruth for years, but each time I hear it it makes me excited for the plans God had for me. Being a widow in this time was like the seal of death for a woman. She had no one to claim her and had nothing to call her own. Ruth made a choice to stay with Naomi and proved herself to be a hard worker. Boaz immediately saw that she was a gem and didn't waste time in pursuing her. It's a story of beautiful, unadulterated love and provision given by God through Boaz...it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :)
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