Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Widows of Christmas: Ruth

Ruth doesn't immediately come to mind when we think of Christmas, but did you know the carol might have been "NO Little Town of Bethlehem" without her?

Ruth risked an entirely new life and wound up in the lineage of Christ! Ruth 1:6-22; Matthew 1:5

For the greater part of my life, Sunday School stories and Bible picture books painted a quaint, Victorian picture in my head: feeble, bent Naomi leaned on Ruth’s soft, lily-white hand as they shuffled into Bethlehem on a gentle springtime afternoon.

It was quite a shock to get to know the real Ruth! Here was a woman who had a hunger for God, compassion for her mother-in-law, a generous dose of determination, and hiked through rugged, arid wilderness four or five days to get to God's territory! Her journey to Bethlehem was no Sunday afternoon stroll. Her faith was as great as Abraham’s and she gambled her life on it!

In a commentary on Ruth I happened upon, Dr. Robert Hubbard of Denver Seminary wrote, “Ruth’s leap of faith even out did Abraham’s. She acted with no promise in hand, with no divine blessing pronounced, without spouse, possessions, or supporting retinue. She gave up marriage to a man to devote herself to an old woman—and in a world dominated by men at that!”

Ruth lived with passion and courage. She refused to spend her future sighing, “If only . . . “

Ruth realized widowhood was her second chance at life. She could choose to remain in Moab where children were blood sacrifices to the idol Chemosh, or, like a disciple, she could go with Naomi and pursue the Almighty God. In choosing between Bethlehem and Moab, Ruth saw an opportunity to follow God. God used Ruth to put Bethlehem on the map!

Do you have risks and choices before you? When we choose to follow God, He takes care of the outcome. Talk out your choices, risks and options with the "Naomi" or other wise, godly people in your life. And, as always let me know how I can pray for you today.


  1. I just realized that not only did Jake and I choose a portion from Ruth as our wedding text,I now share another bond with Ruth,widowhood.Thanks for this post,I am encouraged by it.

  2. No, I cannot imagine Ruth and Naomi tramping through that desert wilderness. That would be a risky trek even outfitted with today's high-tech hiking gear. Thanks for the reminder about being willing to risk for a faith adventure.

    BTW, two days early, I'm already longing for your Friday funny. Wonder what that means. :-)

  3. Ruth, your namesake was a truly remarkable woman, and so are you! I'm so glad you were encouraged by this reminder today.
    And Jane, I just take in that photo over and over and realize what a wimp I am! I haven't a clue why you're looking forward to the Friday funny already, but if you like cats you'll find it way too cute and amazing!


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