Who was Ruth? First and foremost, she was not waiting on Boaz. Ruth was not husband hunting or pining away with her mind preoccupied on wanting a husband. It’s sad that for many young Christian woman this is what this woman of God has been reduced to.
Had Ruth’s heart been set on a husband she never would have remained with Naomi after her husband (Naomi’s son) had died. If Ruth’s mind was fixed on wanting a husband she would have took Naomi’s advice and went back to her family like Orpah (Ruth’s sister in law) did. Besides, like Naomi told Ruth and Orpah, why remain with her? She had no more sons for them to have as a husband and she was too old to have a husband and if she did have one and had sons would they wait for the sons to be able to grow up to become their husbands? Could they wait that long? Ruth 1:8-13. After Naomi had said this both women wept.
Orpah, more than likely having considered what Naomi said, she kissed Naomi and returned back to her people, but it is written (and this is very important because it speaks volumes about Ruth’s character), when it came to leaving Naomi, Ruth did not. Instead it is written “But Ruth clung to her “, Ruth 1:14. Whilst the prospect of not having a husband and family made Orpah leave, Ruth clung to Naomi. Still Naomi insisted that Ruth go back to her gods and her people, but Ruth said: “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” Ruth 1:16-17. When I first read/heard that as a little girl I remember being so moved by those words. Does this sound like a woman whose heart was set on finding a husband? Or was this a women who was displaying such strength in character and such loyalty to her deceased husband’s widowed mother that even the prospect of not being married was not even a care in her mind?
Now fast forward to when she meets Boaz when she was gleaning in his field. Even though she did ask Naomi if she could go and glean in his field to find favour in his sight since she was a foreigner (a Moabitess), this wasn’t her trying to go husband hunting but for her to be able to get food for her and Naomi since both were widows with no one to take care of them, but through the love and wisdom of God there was a law that permitted for the poor and foreigner to glean in the fields, Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19. God noticed all that Ruth had done, Boaz brought that to Ruth’s attention when he said the news of what she had done for Naomi came back to him and he said the Lord repay her for her work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings she came for refuge, Ruth 2:11-12.
As we read on we see that it was Naomi who had to urge and encourage Ruth to actually be with Boaz, she took it upon herself to seek security for Ruth, Ruth 3:1. Ruth was so selfless and loyal, she left her mother and father, the land of her birth, and she abandoned the false gods of her home country, she left all she knew to go to a place where she knew no one, to a people she did not know and she made the true and living God her refuge. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 3:13-14.
We as believers, disciples of Jesus Christ the Lord, are Ruth in this story. No, not a husband hunter, but one who has left all behind and made the true and living God our God. Ruth was rewarded for her selflessness and faithfulness to God through being there for Naomi. Had she went and returned to her gods and her people she would never had ended up with Boaz and she would have likely perished with the idolatrous Moabite people. There is much more than can be said about the story of Ruth and how really this points us to Christ and how He redeemed us from our sins. How we see these stories in the Bible reveals a lot about where our heart is. If you read the story of Ruth or hear about Ruth and your mind is on waiting for your Boaz, then your heart is not set on things above. Though having a godly husband is a wonderful thing if it is God’s will for us, but our minds ought to be set on God.
“Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” Colossians 3:2-4