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Ruth - An Example of Faith and Devotion

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Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16 Ruth 1:16And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God:
American King James Version×
).

For centuries, men and women uniting in holy matrimony have looked to Ruth's famous words as a standard of unfailing devotion to each other. Although we live more than 3,000 years after Ruth, we can almost feel her emotions as we hear these words repeated in the modern marriage ceremony. Truly her words are timeless.

Few examples can compare to that of Ruth's devotion to Naomi. Ruth's loyal devotion can inspire us to remain faithful to God, His truth and His Church.

Blessing out of affliction

Ruth's story begins in Bethlehem, in Judah, when a father and mother and their two sons strike out for greener pastures. Their homeland and people were suffering from a severe shortage of food and water.

This famine didn't come upon the land just by chance. There were reasons for these dark days in Israel, then ruled by judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 Judges 21:25In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
American King James Version×
).

One Bible scholar describes this epoch: “The period of the judges was between the initial conquest of Palestine under Joshua and the establishment of the monarchy under Saul. It was a time of moral and political chaos in Israel with no strong central government or leader. The people repeatedly turned away from God and neighboring peoples constantly harassed and invaded the disorganized nation” (F.B. Huey, Jr., The Expositor's Bible Dictionary , Vol. 3, p. 509).

God had warned that, if the Israelites forgot His covenant, He would allow persecution and starvation and other physical deprivations (See Deuteronomy 28).

It was during such a stressful time that the members of a humble family in Israel decided they must live as aliens in a foreign land, Moab, on the other side of the Jordan River.

There was little food in Bethlehem and bleak prospects of garnering any. On the other hand, Moab was a fertile region with plenty of rain, and that land provided a haven for many who were hungry.

So it was that Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon and Chilion, all members of an Israelitish family, packed their belongings and headed east to a fertile garden in Moab. There they settled and were blessed to find food and shelter.

More misfortune

But time and chance take their toll on everyone, even faithful Elimelech's family. Tragedy struck. First Elimelech died, apparently before his time.

Suffering from the shock of life's frailty, at the same time bearing the weight of responsibility of carrying on the family name, both sons took Moabite wives. Mahlon wed Ruth; Chilion married Orpah (Ruth 1:4 Ruth 1:4And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
American King James Version×
, 4:10).

Misfortune struck again, and Naomi lost her two sons. Naomi was disheartened and determined to return to Bethlehem, for “she had heard in the coun-
try of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them bread” (Ruth 1:6 Ruth 1:6Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
American King James Version×
). She also realized that, in a foreign land, a wife without her husband as provider would find herself in desperate straits.

At first, Naomi assumed her daughters-in-law should return with her (Ruth 1:7 Ruth 1:7Why she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
American King James Version×
). But then, as she considered her plight and options, she realized that her faithful Moabite daughters-in-law would undergo extreme difficulty finding new husbands in Israel. She urged them to remain in their land with their kinsmen and religion (Ruth 1:8 Ruth 1:8And Naomi said to her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me.
American King James Version×
, 9).

Ruth and Orpah both could have returned to Bethlehem with Naomi. But only Ruth chose to remain with her, even though her prospects of finding a husband were not good and she would live as a widow in a foreign land. Ruth's determination to stay with Naomi was eloquent testimony to the sterling example Naomi had set for her daughters-in-law.

Naomi's heartfelt urging that Ruth and Orpah return to Moab had to be a touching scene. Naomi told Ruth: “'Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.' But Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me'” (Ruth 1:15-17 Ruth 1:15-17 15 And she said, Behold, your sister in law is gone back to her people, and to her gods: return you after your sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God: 17 Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part you and me.
American King James Version×
).

Orpah returned to her homeland while Naomi and Ruth continued on the road to Bethlehem. Upon their arrival, the town buzzed with excitement, recognizing that one of the two women was Naomi. The women exclaimed, “'Is this Naomi?' But she said unto them, 'Do not call me Naomi [meaning “pleasant”]; call me Mara [“bitterly dealt with”], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. The Almighty has afflicted me'” (Ruth 1:19-21 Ruth 1:19-21 19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? 20 And she said to them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full and the LORD has brought me home again empty: why then call you me Naomi, seeing the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?
American King James Version×
).

So it was that faithful Naomi returned to Bethlehem with her Moabite daughter-in-law as the barley harvest was in full swing. Although Ruth couldn't know it then, her future blessings would spring from these afflictions.

Finding favor at harvesttime

The time of the return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem was providential, for it was harvesttime and they had no food. The barley harvest and subsequent wheat harvest were their best chance for finding sustenance. It was during these gatherings that Ruth labored in Boaz's field. Ruth's attitude while laboring in the fields, gathering and winnowing grain, served as a model for later generations of Israelite women.

Little wonder that the book of Ruth would be read in synagogues centuries later during the Feast of Weeks, a yearly festival that concluded the wheat harvest (A.S. Geden, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia , Vol. 4, p. 2528). This celebration was also known as Pentecost (“fiftieth [day]”) to the New Testament Church (Acts 2), and it prophetically symbolized Jesus Christ's harvest of Christian lives (Matthew 9:36-38 Matthew 9:36-38 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then said he to his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; 38 Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
American King James Version×
).

Ruth, in deference to her mother-in-law Naomi, requested permission to go alone into the fields to gather leftover grain: “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”

Naomi replied to Ruth: “Go, my daughter” (Ruth 2:2 Ruth 2:2And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said to her, Go, my daughter.
American King James Version×
).

The Scripture provided a precedent for the custom of gleaning. “The law expressly allowed the poor the right to glean in the fields (i.e., in the corners of the fields; Leviticus 19:9 Leviticus 19:9And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.
American King James Version×
, 10; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21 Deuteronomy 24:19-21 19 When you cut down your harvest in your field, and have forgot a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
American King James Version×
), but the owners of the fields were not always cooperative. A hard day's work under the hot sun frequently netted only a small amount of grain” (F.B. Huey Jr., The Expositor's Bible Commentary , Vol. 3, p. 527).

God had guided Ruth to the field of Elimelech's kinsman, Boaz. Boaz's neighbors well knew his character, holding him in high esteem (Ruth 2:4 Ruth 2:4And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless you.
American King James Version×
). The very word Boaz means “in him is strength” or “man of strength.” He lived up to his name.

Good advice

So it was that Boaz met Ruth, and would protect her and provided for her. “Then Boaz said to Ruth, 'You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them.'

“Then she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, 'Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?'

“And Boaz answered and said to her, 'It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge” (Ruth 2:8-12 Ruth 2:8-12 8 Then said Boaz to Ruth, Hear you not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go you after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch you? and when you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn. 10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found grace in your eyes, that you should take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, It has fully been showed me, all that you have done to your mother in law since the death of your husband: and how you have left your father and your mother, and the land of your nativity, and are come to a people which you knew not heretofore. 12 The LORD recompense your work, and a full reward be given you of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you are come to trust.
American King James Version×
).

Boaz had instructed the young men working for him to let Ruth glean not just in the corners but even among the sheaves, where she could gather much more grain than was otherwise possible. He also told them to drop some wheat on the ground for her to find.

Gleaning turned out to be far more productive for Ruth than she had imagined possible. She brought home to Naomi a good supply of winnowed grain, enough for several weeks. In those times, someone could expect to glean only a few pounds of grain per day. Her amount from gleaning shows the regard the young men had for Boaz and his instructions to allow some of their harvested grain to fall to the ground in Ruth's path. It also speaks well of Ruth's diligence.

Naomi was pleased with such favor shown by Boaz to her daughter-in-law Ruth: “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead! The man is a relative of ours, one of our near kinsmen” (Ruth 2:20 Ruth 2:20And Naomi said to her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said to her, The man is near of kin to us, one of our next kinsmen.
American King James Version×
).

Ruth honored Naomi's words of encouragement and gleaned “until the end” of the barley and wheat harvests (Ruth 2:23 Ruth 2:23So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelled with her mother in law.
American King James Version×
).

Redemption and blessings

Naomi began to see, once again, that God had not forgotten her. This was a critical time for her and Ruth, one that held exciting promise, especially for the daughter-in-law. Boaz was indeed a kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi's dead husband.

“Under the Levirate law (referred to by Naomi in Ruth 1:1-13 Ruth 1:1-13 1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. 6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. 7 Why she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 The LORD grant you that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 And they said to her, Surely we will return with you to your people. 11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will you go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would you tarry for them till they were grown? would you stay for them from having husbands? no, my daughters; for it grieves me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
American King James Version×
), when a man died childless his brother was bound to raise an heir to him by the widow. This law extended to the next of kin, hence Naomi's plan. Ruth, by her action in verse 7, was claiming this right” (David and Pat Alexander, Eerdmans' Handbook to the Bible, pp. 227, 228).

Naomi's plan included careful instructions for Ruth, and her words enhanced the aura of romance: “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our kinsman? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

“Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do. And [Ruth] said to her, 'All that you say to me I will do'” (Ruth 3:1-5 Ruth 3:1-5 1 Then Naomi her mother in law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens you were? Behold, he winnows barley to night in the threshing floor. 3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint you, and put your raiment on you, and get you down to the floor: but make not yourself known to the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay you down; and he will tell you what you shall do. 5 And she said to her, All that you say to me I will do.
American King James Version×
).

What a trusting attitude Ruth had. Remember, she was not an Israelite; she was a Moabite, a gentile. God was working out His great purpose through Ruth, whose heart and mind were those of a spiritual Israelite led by God's Holy Spirit (compare Romans 2:29 Romans 2:29But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
American King James Version×
with 2 Corinthians 3:3 2 Corinthians 3:3For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
American King James Version×
).

Boaz would not dishonor Ruth

Let's understand the literal meaning of “uncover his feet” (Ruth 3:4 Ruth 3:4And it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay you down; and he will tell you what you shall do.
American King James Version×
). The reader should be aware that the sexually permissive society in which we live is a far cry from the social values of Ruth's time.

“Those who interpret a sexual relation in the events reflect their twentieth-century cultural conditioning of sexual permissiveness. They fail to appreciate the element of Ruth's trust that Boaz would not dishonor her whom he wanted for his wife. They fail to appreciate the cultural taboos of Ruth's time that would have prevented a man of Boaz's position from taking advantage of Ruth, thereby destroying her reputation and perhaps endangering his own” (Huey, p. 538).

The moral character of Boaz and Ruth remains intact.

Boaz knew of another kinsman more closely related to Ruth than he. Boaz, manifesting exemplary integrity, addressed the situation straightforwardly: “There is a kinsman nearer than I,” he told Ruth. “Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a near kinsman for you-good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives!” (Ruth 3:12 Ruth 3:12And now it is true that I am your near kinsman: however, there is a kinsman nearer than I.
American King James Version×
, 13).

The unfolding drama starkly contrasts the two men. The nearer relative reacted agreeably to Boaz's mention of Naomi's land of inheritance, but, when Boaz noted the added responsibility of redeeming Ruth's inheritance, the man quickly declined. “And the near kinsman said, 'I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it. Buy it for yourself'” (Ruth 4:6 Ruth 4:6And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem you my right to yourself; for I cannot redeem it.
American King James Version×
, 8).

Today, as we read the account of Ruth, we know that the closest relative unknowingly denied himself a great opportunity. Boaz not only redeemed all of Naomi's inheritance, he claimed Ruth's as well.

“Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses this day. And all the people said, 'We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman'” (Ruth 4:10-12 Ruth 4:10-12 10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place: you are witnesses this day. 11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do you worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12 And let your house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give you of this young woman.
American King James Version×
).

So God blessed Naomi and Ruth through Boaz. Boaz took Ruth as his wife, and she bore him a son. Then Naomi's friends said to her: “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a near kinsman [redeemer]; and may his name be famous in Israel!” (Ruth 4:14 Ruth 4:14And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which has not left you this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
American King James Version×
).

Ruth became a forebear of Jesus

God blessed Ruth's faithfulness with her son, whom she named Obed. It was through Obed that Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and direct ancestor of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Who would have thought Naomi would return to Bethlehem with only her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth? Who could have guessed that Ruth would figure in the lineage of Jesus Christ? No human being could have worked out this scenario. Faith in God and God's purpose contribute to such miraculous results.

Had Ruth, a Moabitess, not proved faithful to her Israelite mother-in-law, she would not have returned with her, nor would Ruth have met and married Boaz, nor would she have had a son, Obed, who would become an ancestor of David and Jesus Christ.

Think for a moment all that worked against such an extraordinary outcome. By chance, Ruth met Naomi's son, Mahlon, whose family was forced by hardship to live as resident aliens in her country of Moab. By chance, she married Mahlon. By chance, her father-in-law, her brother-in-law and her husband all died in her homeland.

By chance, she insisted on returning with Naomi to Israel, to live as an alien in a strange land, away from her family, relatives, religion, homeland. By chance, she met Boaz and gained the opportunity to be redeemed and married.

By chance, Boaz married her, and together they had a son who figured in the direct lineage of the very Son of God.

Or did all of this occur by chance? To the casual observer, it might seem as if this all happened by chance. But, for those who live by faith-the same faith that Jesus Christ exercised here on earth-it becomes obvious that these miraculous events were directed by Almighty God. Ruth defied all the odds, and, even though she was a gentile, figures directly in the physical lineage of our Savior.

Ruth's faithful example extends far beyond her physical lineage. She figures prominently as a forerunner of spiritual Israel, the Church of God. She typifies the Old Testament prophecy to Abraham of the New Covenant Church, which would include gentiles and Israelites alike: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” through Jesus Christ (Genesis 12:3 Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
American King James Version×
).

Ruth's example acknowledged

Ruth's relationship to God while living among Israelites is aptly described by Peter in the New Testament when God gave the first gentiles His Holy Spirit: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34 Acts 10:34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
American King James Version×
, 35).

God's impartiality is a bountiful blessing that neither Ruth, Boaz, nor Naomi could know during their time. But we are privileged to know such inspiring truths.

Ruth's example of faith was customarily recited in the temple and later in the synagogues during the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. Her example helps to signify our role and salvation in God's Church.

For instance, in Leviticus 23, God identifies two loaves of leavened bread offered during the Feast of Weeks: “You shall bring from your habitations two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:17 Leviticus 23:17You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.
American King James Version×
).

These two loaves of leavened bread represent, at once, God's faithful disciples in both the old and new dispensations, but they also represent the two separate and now fused races of people who comprise the Church: gentiles and Israelites.

The leaven signifies our human nature, in a general sense, and the sin that so easily besets us (compare 1 Corinthians 5:6 1 Corinthians 5:6Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
American King James Version×
, 7 with Matthew 16:12 Matthew 16:12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
American King James Version×
and Hebrews 12:1 Hebrews 12:1Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
American King James Version×
). The baked loaves show that all God's people, whether gentile or Israelite, whether part of the old or new dispensation, will have their faith forged through the fiery trials experienced in this life (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
American King James Version×
; 1 Peter 1:7 1 Peter 1:7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×
).

The focus of the book of Ruth highlights the barley and wheat harvests in Palestine, a time of reaping rewards from hard work and a foretaste of humanity's spiritual redemption. Even Bethlehem means “the house of bread.” This motif shows God's strict adherence to detail. But, in a broader sense, God's prophetic plan is revealed through the story of Ruth and its correlation to the entire New Testament.

It is inspiring to read the contrast of Ruth's faith to that of the Israel of her time. Her undying devotion to Naomi and her redemption by Boaz attest to her humble obedience that transcends time, race and culture.

Although we leave Ruth at the end of this story, we can't forget her righteous and faithful example. 

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