In church, we’ve been going through the book of Ruth. I’m sure that by now you’ve heard the old joke that if you took this book out of the Bible, that would make the Bible fairly ruthless.
But the central character is an intriguing one. She’s from Moab, the archenemies of Israel. In fact, there’s a passage that I ran across in Nehemiah 13 that says that no Moabite was allowed to enter the assembly of God because they failed to show hospitality to the Israelites during their desert wanderings and in fact hired Balaam to curse them.
But Ruth abandons her own people and her own beliefs to follow after Naomi and this God of Israel. She leaves everything behind without once looking back. She eventually becomes mother to Obed, grandmother to Jesse, and great-grandmother to David, King of Israel and the one from whose line would come Jesus, Savior of the world.
It’s fascinating that out of all the possible people in the world, God chose Ruth as his means of bringing Jesus into the world. He chose someone who was an outcast, an outsider, a foreigner, and a stranger to the promise. Sound familiar? It’s the same way Paul described the Gentiles that God brought into the Kingdom of God. That’s you. That’s me.
It’s beautiful how God can transform an outsider into royalty. That’s what he did for Ruth. That’s what he’s done for you and me, making us into children of the King, a royal priesthood, and heirs to all the promises of God, because that’s what God does. That’s who God is.