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Ruth

Blog

Ruth

Lydia Brownback

Our women's group just finished a summer study on the book of Ruth, and one of our ladies, Kathy Monaco, penned this beautiful poem to read during our last gathering:

In Bethlehem when judges ruled

and famine struck the land,

Elimelech got nervous

and came up with a plan.

 

He took off with his family

and traveled many miles.

They settled down in Moab

to stay for just a while.

 

His wife was named Naomi.

He also had two sons,

one whose name was Chilion,

the other was Mahlon.

 

As weeks and months turned into years,

their lives did surely change.

Elimelech had passed away

and nothing was the same.

 

Chilion met Orpah

and took her for his wife.

Mahlon, too, got married,

to Ruth the Moabite.

 

But sadly both sons also died,

leaving broken and bereaved

their widowed mom and widowed wives,

whose hearts were sorely grieved.

 

One day Naomi heard the news

that God had come to aid

his people by providing food,

and so new plans were made.

 

Naomi planned to travel back

to Bethlehem alone,

telling Ruth and Orpah,

“Go back to your mother’s home.”

 

“Go back and find a husband,

and start your lives anew.

God’s hand has turned against me,

I’ll be no use to you.”

 

Orpah wept and said goodbye,

but Ruth insisted, “No!”

And Ruth clung to Naomi saying,

“Where you go, I will go.”

 

“Your people will be my people,

your God will be my God.

And where you die, there I will die.”

Like two peas in a pod.

 

When they arrived in Bethlehem,

the whole town was surprised.

“Can this be Naomi?”,

they said with searching eyes.

 

She said, “Just call me Mara,

it seems a better fit.

The Lord turned my life bitter…

bit, by bit, by bit.”

 

Now Boaz was a kinsman

of Naomi’s husband’s clan,

a godly man of high esteem,

a farmer of the land.

 

One day Ruth told Naomi,

“Let me go and glean the fields.

I’ll pick up the leftover grain,

and use it for our meals.”

 

Naomi gave the go-ahead

and Ruth went on her way.

And because the Lord was leading her,

she met Boaz that day.

 

He treated her with kindness

and put her mind at ease,

and prayed God would reward her

for all her faithful deeds.

 

When Ruth got home she couldn’t wait

to share what had transpired,

and all about the man she met,

the man she so admired.

 

Naomi was excited

at all Ruth had to say

about the man named Boaz,

whose field she gleaned that day.

 

She recognized his name and thought,

Our pastures just got greener!

That man is our close relative,

a guardian-redeemer.

 

One day Naomi beckoned Ruth

and told her of her plan

to guarantee her future,

a plan to land her man.

 

“Put on your very finest clothes,

and perfume to smell sweet.

Then wait till Boaz eats and drinks,

and lie down at his feet.”

 

That night Boaz was sound asleep

when right out of the blue,

he heard something that startled him

and called out, “Who are you?”

 

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said,

“and if you’d be so kind,

please spread your garment over me,

and then you will be mine.”

 

“You’re a guardian-redeemer,

one of our closest kin.

And you’ve never held against me

who I am or where I’ve been.”

 

Boaz agreed to do for Ruth

all that she had asked.

He told her not to worry,

but there might be one small catch.

 

He said he knew of someone

who was closer to her clan.

He’d find him in the morning

and talk with him, man to man.

 

The next day at the city gate

his relative walked by.

Boaz said, “Come sit, my friend,

and listen for awhile.”

 

He also called ten elders

to witness what was said.

It wouldn’t do to misconstrue

which man his Ruth would wed.

 

Boaz laid out the details

and when all was said and done,

the man gave him his sandal.

It was Boaz who had won.

 

So Boaz pledged his heart to Ruth,

and she became his wife.

And God gave them a baby boy

to further bless their life.

 

They named the baby Obed,

and he grew up to be

the father of King David’s dad,

the man they called Jesse.

 

And so it was that God ordained

in all his sovereignty,

that Ruth would be a vital branch

on Jesus’ family tree.