Ruth was a Moabite woman who married a Jewish man by name Mahlon whose father was Elimelech and mother Naomi. Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi played a very great role in changing and shaping this young woman’s life after the death of her husband.
The story of Ruth is documented in the book of Ruth in the old testament of the Bible. A lot of lessons can be learnt from the story of Ruth, which can be applied in our daily lives.
In life, we must seek the face of the Lord before embarking on any project or plan, if we really take God as the Lord over our lives. In the opening chapter of the book of Ruth, we are told of how Elimelech took off to the land of Moab with his wife and his sons because of the famine in Israel then. There is no mention of Elimelech seeking the face of God before taking that decision to relocate. The Moabites were not people that the Israelites should ordinarily go to for help from their history (Ruth 1 vs. 1-2, Ruth 1vs 16).
Ruth, on the other hand, chose to put her trust in the living God and walk with him. In life, we must not allow the prevailing circumstances to push us to seek help from where that is an abomination to us as believers. We must choose to stick with the Lord despite the challenges or hardship we encounter, remembering that it is only for a season.
The workings of divine providence or favour is another lesson from the story of Ruth (Ruth 2 vs. 3). Of all the fields in the land of Israel at that time, the Lord led Ruth to the field of Boaz. This shows that God is in complete control of circumstances in the life of a person who has accepted His Lordship over his life. Ruth had pledged her allegiance to the great God of Israel.
The strength of character is another beautiful lesson from the story of Ruth. A character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It consists of attitudes and temperaments. Ruth’s declaration to Naomi gives us an insight into the kind of person she was (Ruth 1 vs. 17-17).
The account the workers at the field of Boaz gave about Ruth is also a testimony of her good character (Ruth 2 vs. 6-7). She worked hard all day and took rest only for short periods. This showed her seriousness at the field and also proved that she didn’t just show up to cause distractions. In local parlance, she did not go there to do tatafo and yeye play!
The power of femininity is a potent tool. We ladies must learn to use our femininity positively. The character of a person is very important, but physical looks matter a lot. Chapter three of the book of Ruth tells us of how Naomi advised Ruth to prepare herself for spending the night at Boaz’s feet. The instructions bath, perfume yourself and put on raiment (good clothes) were very clear and deliberate because they were aimed at achieving a specific purpose.
A wise woman must get her timing right when she wants to get something or make a request from anyone. (Ruth 3 vs. 7). Ruth waited till Boaz had eaten and drank to his fill before approaching him. Also, food, more food and good food have been proven to be a big plus to get to a man’s heart. We can’t emphasise on this enough. A well-fed man is equal to a man in a good mood. Ladies let us ‘up’ our game in the kitchen and come up with new recipes as often as we can.
The power of self-control is another amazing lesson we can pick from the story of Ruth. This was a plus on the side of Boaz and a big lesson for the menfolk. Boaz could have easily taken advantage of Ruth, but he didn’t. He could have easily given the excuse that Ruth practically seduced him, by coming to lie at his feet in the night.
One of the most irritating excuses we hear some men give for their indiscretions, especially in the house of God, is that the sister seduced him. The story of Ruth has proven that a man of integrity is a man of integrity. A man who loves God will avoid doing anything that will bring disrepute to the name of the Lord he professes to serve.
God is a God of order. In taking charge of Ruth’s life after she had pledged her allegiance to Him, God ensured that things were done in an orderly manner. Boaz was not the first in line to redeem the estate of Mahlon by marrying his widow Ruth. There was a nearer in line kinsman redeemer. Boaz showed respect for order by initiating a meeting of the members of that clan, and the man was given an opportunity to redeem the estate first.
When the first in line kinsman rejected the offer, Boaz ensured that he ‘signed a document’ to that effect by way of exchange of a sandal as was their custom in those days. (Ruth 4 vs. 1-11).
This is a lesson for believers, showing that we should always follow orders and follow things through. Ladies, in particular, should note this and allow a man that is interested in marrying them to observe the required protocol (so far it is Godly) before they start parading themselves as the man’s wife.
The story of Ruth reminds us of the restoration power of the living God. God turned things around for Ruth from a seemingly hopeless situation. Who would have thought that the widow from Moab will find favour and become one of the great grandparents of David, the king after God’s heart and be mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Messiah?
However, we must also note that Ruth initiated the relationship with God by pledging her allegiance to him and leaving all she knew and loved behind to start a new life. This act positioned her to be blessed by God.
God is always at the door of our heart knocking and waiting; the onus thereby rests on us to open the door and let him in. Hallelujah