Genealogy of Jesus: Ruth, the Moabite
Ruth is one of the women specifically mentioned by name in Jesus genealogy. However, she receives more than just a chapter or two the way the
other women in the genealogy of Jesus do. Her story takes an entire book to tell.
Ruth lived in the Moab. She married Mahlon, the son of Naomi and Elimelek, who had moved from Bethlehem in Judah. Mahlon and his brother, Killion, died and Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. She told Ruth and Killion’s widow, Orpah, to return to their families. Orpah said goodbye and left. However, Ruth refused. She told Naomi “where you go I will go. Your people will be my people.”
When they arrived in Bethlehem, Naomi instructed Ruth where to go gather the grain. Boaz, a
kinsman, saw Ruth and made sure she had enough grain to take home.
Naomi had Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet. This act showed Boaz what she required of him. He even responded “you are a woman of noble character.” Boaz went about the business of making her his wife. They were married and she gave birth to a son, Obed. He was the grandfather of King David.
- Ruth was devoted—she refused to leave Naomi. She decided that she would go where Naomi went and Naomi’s people would be her people. When she made a commitment she was all in. We don’t know how much she gave up or suffered leaving her homeland and people in Moab. She may have given up nothing or everything—we don’t know. Boaz was impressed with her devotion to Naomi. She’d gained a positive reputation for this dedication with him and more than likely throughout the land.
- Ruth was obedient—she followed Naomi’s instructions and did what she was told to gather the grain and later make her intentions known to
- She was Bold— She boldly approached Boaz and told him what she wanted from him. Was she nervous? —Probably. Did she experience moments of doubt or fear? —We don’t know. However, let’s say she did, she pushed through all of it to boldly approach this man and do what was required of her. It couldn’t have been easy.
- She was patient—She waited for God to unfold the plan for her life. She had to wait to see what Boaz would do about claiming her for his own and making his wife, but she did just that.
- She was rewarded—as a Moabite she should never have gained God’s favor. He’d “shut out” her people from Him. However, through her faithfulness, Ruth found favor in God. She was blessed with a son, who would become the grandfather of King David.
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