Refugees have told me stories about risking their lives to leave war-torn nations with little more than the clothes they were wearing.
Scholars have described the book of Ruth as a brilliant, multi-layered short story or novella. A predominant theme of Ruth is chesed-Hebrew for, among other things, faithfulness and loyalty.
I am awestruck by the faithfulness and loyalty of Ruth. Living in a man’s world, both Naomi and Ruth were defined by and dependent upon their husbands or, if they had any, their sons.
In our story, both of them are willing to risk travelling from Moab to Bethlehem. Travel in those days could be risky. Moreover, Ruth’s faithfulness is exceptionally risky because she is travelling to a foreign land as a Gentile and a widowed woman with no male family members to provide for her. Yet, God blessed her risky faithfulness and loyalty to, and love for her mother-in-law Naomi. The previously barren Ruth is able to give birth to Obed, and becomes the great-grandmother of King David, and an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah.
God is an expert risk-taker. God is able to transform hopeless sinners into the most promising of saints.
Thank you, God, for your risky faithfulness and loyalty at work in our lives. Amen. — GW-H