Her name was Ruth.

Ruth means “friend.”

Her story: Ruth 1:1-4:22 and Matthew 1:5

Ruth’s beautiful story starts with Naomi, her mother-in-law. Naomi, her husband, and their sons moved from Bethlehem to Moab during a terrible famine. Ruth, a Moabite woman, married one of Naomi’s sons. Then Naomi’s husband and the sons died, leaving three widows. When Naomi decided to move back to Judah, Ruth insisted on going with her. In Bethlehem, Ruth worked the fields and Naomi realized Ruth had been working in fields owned by a distant relative, Boaz. When it was evident Boaz was aware of their situation, Naomi explained to Ruth how to ask for protection and sent her to Boaz. Boaz responded by invoking Jewish law to “redeem” Ruth so he could marry her. They married and had a son (Obed). Naomi became a doting grandmother and Ruth, a Moabite, a foreigner, became an important part of the bloodline of Jesus Christ.

The most famous words in the Book of Ruth are often heard at weddings: “Don’t press me to leave you and stop following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die; and there I will be buried. May the Lord bring terrible curses on me, and worse ones as well, if anything but death separates you and me.” When we find female friends like this, we find a friend who cares for us and intercedes for us and who will always point us to our Redeemer. (Ruth 1:16-17)

Her legacy for us: Ruth’s beautiful story reflects our own Christian walk. We start out like Ruth, outside the family of God. Someone tells us about Him and how to become part of His family. When we ask Him, He gladly redeems us and makes us one of His own.

Our response to Him: What would help me become a more helpful, merciful, compassionate friend – one who reflects You to others and encourages them to join Your family?

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