“Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth” [Matthew 1:5b]
The third woman to appear in the line of Jesus is Ruth. Whereas Rahab and Tamar may have been questionable characters at times, Ruth’s story is often well known from the book in the Bible which bears her name. The story of Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi, who leaves her home to stay with Naomi is often well-loved.
What people often forget is that not only was Ruth a poor widow, already setting her at a distinct disadvantage, she was also a foreigner. She would have struggled to survive in Israel on her own, yet she worked diligently in the dangerous work of gleaning from the fields to feed not only herself, but also her mother-in-law. Gleaning was dangerous because lone women were not always safe amongst the male labourers, yet she did it to ensure they could eat.
The man she eventually married, Boaz, is also unlikely: he wasn’t the heir, he didn’t want to take on Ruth, but he was also the son of Rahab. Together, Ruth and Boaz would become the great grandparents of Israel’s greatest king – David – from whom the line of the Messiah was traced.
Almighty and all-knowing God,
we do not know the plans that you have for us,
yet we trust that you only have our good in your heart.
We thank you that you love us so completely,
that we are your children and that you know us and love us.
Help us to trust in you completely,
to know that you are with us even when things seem difficult,
and to praise you for all that you do for us.
In the name of Christ, we pray.