Losing someone you love, especially a spouse, is heart wrenching. There is no easy way to move on. Tragedy struck the marriages of a woman named Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, when they both lost their husbands. Faced with a difficult decision, Ruth displayed her loyalty to Naomi and moved back to Israel to stay by her mother-in-law’s side (Ruth 1:16).
Together, the two women sought refuge with a man named Boaz, who, providentially, happened to be Naomi’s family redeemer. The family redeemer, also known as kinsman redeemer, was a cultural practice in Israel where if a man died and left behind a wife and no sons, the family redeemer was responsible to marry and provide for the widow. Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi, bravery toward Boaz, and character led to her second chance at having a family.
In chapter three, Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions and prepared for a life-altering opportunity (vv. 1–4). As Boaz slept, she “uncovered his feet and lay down,” which was essentially a gentle way to wake him up (v. 8). Then she requested he take her in and care for her.
Ruth showed her loyalty in her treatment of Naomi, and Boaz affirms it here (v. 11). He calls her a “woman of noble character,” which is the same expression used to introduce the ideal godly woman in Proverbs 31:10. Not only does everyone in the town know Ruth has a godly character, but so does the Lord. While the Lord is never directly mentioned in this story, His providential hand is evident. Ultimately, God gave Ruth a second chance, a husband, and a home, because of her loyalty and faithfulness.
>> We will experience hard times, but what we do during those seasons of life reveals truths about who we really are. While we may never get back what we lost, the Lord knows what we need for the future. Like Ruth, we can trust God and obey His commands.
Without You, hardship hardens us, and difficulty makes us difficult people. In loss and trials, grant us qualities of patience, hope, faith, and gentleness. Comfort us, speak to us, and hold us fast.