I’d like to tell you the story of two women. It is a true story, not a fairytale. Both these women faced hardship and loss. However, they responded differently which is the lesson for us at the heart of their story.
Naomi was an Israelite woman who moved with her husband and two sons to nearby Moab, during a time of famine. Naomi’s husband soon died. The young men married Moabite women with pagan beliefs. Ruth was one of these.
To Naomi’s sorrow, after about ten years her sons, also, died. Hearing that the famine at home had ended, Naomi decided to return. She urged her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab, and rebuild their lives.
But Ruth had grown especially close to Naomi, and was determined to follow her back. Ruth’s beautiful words have come down to us, over the centuries:
“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’ ” (Ruth 1: 16-17).
Naomi was an embittered woman, angry with God for what she had been through.
Ruth, on the other hand, is remembered as a woman of faith and integrity. Without complaint, Ruth went to work in the fields to sustain herself and Naomi on their return, in the process, winning the love and admiration of a man who would become her new husband.
We are not promised that Prince Charming will ride in on a white horse. Tragedies will befall us in this broken world. Our dreams will at times be dashed, and our hearts broken. But we can rest assured our lives will have purpose, even when we do not see that purpose.
Abuse can be devastating, its scars lifelong. But the violation is not the sum total of our lives. With God, there is always hope. Sometimes, in fact, God’s plans for us may be greater than we know.
Ruth could easily have become bitter when her first husband died. She could have doubted God’s plans for her life. When she chose to remain with her mother-in-law, Ruth had no idea that she would remarry…or that she would become the great-grandmother of kings, and enter the lineage of Christ  .
Yet she did.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29: 11).
 Ruth is documented in Scripture as having been the great-grandmother of King David, and the great-great-grandmother of King Solomon (Ruth 4: 13, 17, 21). She is expressly included in the geneology of Christ (Matt. 1: 5).
 Though scholars continue to debate its significance, archaeological evidence for King David appears to have been unearthed at Tel Dan, in northern Israel, on a stone stela dating to the 9th Century BC.
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9 responses to “Greater than We Know”
Anna, I love this. Ruth I think is my 2nd most loved female in the Bible. She is a symbol of consistent faithful living and trust in Israel’s God. Because of this she had tremendous hope. Lord bless you my friend!!!
Thank you, Levi. I have always loved Ruth. May the Lord bless you, too.
Thanks Anna. Do I remember correctly that you live in NYC!
Since I grew up there, I will forever be a New Yorker. It’s why your mission work to the city touches me so. But I’m in the Philly area these days. We’ll have to wait and see what the Lord has in mind next!
The Bible book of Ruth and her story has always been one of my favorites. Yes, there is tragedy but the story focuses more on the positive and the loving relationship between the two women. It’s very sweet I think. 🙂
I feel the same. ❤
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Thanks for writing this Anna. You have shown once again with the lives of these two women with common circumstances that the same sun that hardens clay also softens wax. We can become bitter and spend the rest of our lives stewing in our juices over a wrong done to us or we can turn to the same God that Ruth turned to and not only see a change our future but the future of our children and those around us as she did.
God bless you dear sister,
The same choice — bitterness v. faith — faces young people around the globe who may be considering a life of violence. However glamorous or “noble” terrorism is made out to be by ISIS and other such groups, it is a vehicle only for hatred and destruction. However deep our wounds, God can heal them.
Thank you, as always, Michael.
Your sister in Christ,