Thursday, April 27, 2017


A true friendship in trying times and kindness among strangers reaps rich rewards both immediately and for generations to come.

“Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.
Your people will be my people, and your God my God.”

With love and loyalty, young Moabite widow Ruth left her homeland to follow her widowed mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem. Following tradition, she gleaned the fields of Boaz for leftover harvest grains and was treated kindly and with dignity by him. Needing a husband to fit in to village life, Ruth followed Naomi’s advice to approach Boaz. After ensuring that a closer kinsman did not want to claim Ruth, Boaz married her. They had a son Obed who was adored by his grandmother Naomi and who became the grandfather of King David of Israel. 

Ruth lived in the land of Moab, married to the son of a woman named Naomi who had moved there from Bethlehem. When Naomi’s husband and sons died and a famine struck Moab, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. Naomi urged Ruth and her other widowed daughter-in-law, Orpah, to return to their families and kissed them good-bye. But Ruth clung to Naomi and knew she must be a faithful friend. Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye again and left in tears. Orpah had four warrior sons later in life, including a giant named Goliath.

Ruth and Naomi reached Bethlehem just as the barley harvest was beginning. Following tradition, Ruth gleaned fields for leftover grain, working in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband. Ruth thanked him for his kindness, and he appreciated Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi. Ruth shared meals with Boaz, who made sure she was treated with dignity and generousity. Naomi praised God that Ruth had found a kinsman redeemer with the obligation to free a relative in serious difficulty.

Naomi knew Ruth needed a husband to fit in with village life and told her to approach Boaz. Ruth put on perfume, dressed in her best clothes, and after Boaz went to sleep, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Boaz startled awake and Ruth explained he was a kinsman redeemer to her. But Boaz said there was another man more closely related to Naomi who should be approached first.

Boaz gathered the other kinsman redeemer and ten elders of the town and explained Ruth’s situation. Since Naomi was selling her family’s land, this man was first in line to redeem it, but he did not want to marry Ruth. So, Boaz took Ruth as his wife, and they had a son named Obed. Naomi loved to care for her grandson and thanked God for him. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David. As a child, David triumphed over a Philistine giant named Goliath, the son of Orpah.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

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