Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
Boaz answered Ruth, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds.” (Ruth 4:11-12)
Boaz was a landowner. Ruth was a foreigner. Their story is an unlikely one. It begins in Bethlehem during a famine that forces Elimelech and Naomi to take their two sons and seek a better life in the country of Moab. Tragedy strikes when Elimelech dies. The two sons marry, but they also die. Naomi is left with her two daughters in law, Ruth and Orpah. With no ability to provide, Naomi decides to return Bethlehem and tells them to go back to their original families. After initial resistance, Orpah acquiesces. Ruth, however, does the unexpected and makes the decision to stay with Naomi.
Ruth’s choice was no small thing. She left absolutely everything she knew: her family, her people, her religion, and any possibility for a life. This is where Boaz comes in. When they arrive in Bethlehem, Ruth gets in good with one of Boaz’s servants who allows her to pick up the leftovers in the field after they harvested. Boaz learns of Ruth and is so inspired that he makes sure she and Naomi have what they need. Whenever someone learns of her story, they are moved to do whatever they can to help. This is what giving does. It begins in the heart.
The surprise ending of the story comes when Boaz marries Ruth. They have a baby boy named Obed, who becomes the father of Jesse, the father of King David. What began with a sacrificial act of generosity from an outsider, a refugee from a foreign land, eventually set the hearts of an entire community on fire, and they found themselves giving. Had that not happened, the family line that produced King David and eventually gave us Jesus may never have been. What begins in the heart changes the very make up of who we are. It changes everything.
Published on 10/23/2018 @ 8:16 AM CDT