Ruth, the Lovely Friend
The Book of Ruth
Their names say it all. Ruth, believed to be a short version of “retut,” or lovely friend, was the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi. Naomi, also a widow, was exiled from Moab because of a famine and had returned to Bethlehem after the death of her sons. She told old friends, “Call me Mara, for the Lord has made it very bitter for me.” What Naomi missed is the sweetness of a special gift: Ruth. Naomi had released her grieving daughters-in-law to return to their people, but Ruth declared, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
Fortunately for Ruth, Boaz, a close friend of Naomi’s husband’s family, noticed her charms and blessed her. That got Naomi’s attention, which goes to show you: a lovely friend can turn the heart of a bitter women. Naomi hatched a successful plan to bring her kinsman, Boaz, and Ruth together. The couple later had a son, Obed, the grandfather of David. Ruth disappeared from the story, only to be remembered later as one of four women named in Matthew’s lineage of Jesus.
Ruth’s lesson to us? Steadfast love and loyalty may just lead you into a glorious destiny.