Circle of Life and the Family Tree
by Judy Webb
If you are looking for romance and an entertaining story, if you want a feel-good tale of love, loss, and then an even better love – turn off the Hallmark channel and open your Bible to the story of Ruth. In this book you will read of hardship, pain, grief, loss, and love. You will also rejoice when the hero and heroine find their place in the world, and they also find each other.
Ruth consists of four short chapters, but spanning a lifetime of experiences. Here we follow a young woman on her journey from her father’s house to the tent of her husband, where she begins her new life. All too soon she becomes a widow. But this isn’t where the story ends, it is where it begins. The hand of God is upon Ruth as she leaves her county and follows Naomi, her mother-in-law, on a trip to Bethlehem (Naomi’s hometown). Where she meets a man named Boaz and her fate is sealed.
"All the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, 'We are Witnesses.'” (Ruth 4:11)
Boaz is kind and generous and seems to be instantly attracted to the young widow. He sees to it that she has food and safe passage on his land. There is no drama, no misunderstandings that tear the two apart, quite the opposite. Ruth recognizes the kindness of Boaz and is drawn to him. Boaz is a man of God; he respects his position in society and knows what he needs to do to protect Ruth from a world that isn’t always kind to poor widows. His love for her grows and soon he is legally asserting his claim as kinsman redeemer before witnesses.
These witnesses poured blessings on this union and prayed for God to bless the couple. Unlike today, when often we question why a ceremony with witnesses is important, publicly proclaiming our love in front of witnesses gets this special bond off to a strong start. When both parties have God as the center of their love, what a hallmark moment of authentic love that is!
Their faithfulness was rewarded and blessed. For this couple became part of the lineage of Jesus.
Dear Jesus, this book of Ruth is such a great example of following you and your will for us. Open our eyes to the beauty of your Word and show us that it never goes out of style but only becomes more and more relevant as the world gets darker.