This Week's Story

Ruth becomes a foreigner in Israel and finds unexpected help.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

An Immigrant Woman and Boaz, part two

“You must agree; the story of Ruth is a rerun.  There’s the poor beautiful girl with a big problem.  A rich, influential, and thoughtful guy meets her.  They are drawn irresistibly together into life-long happiness!”

“Rick, you have the skeleton, but you forget that Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi are people with real problems.”

“Defend that claim.”

“I’d like to.”  Ruth faced problems that challenge and break people today, like being an immigrant and poor.  Ruth married a foreigner.  He died.  So did his father and brother.  Her mother-in-law Naomi became bitter and decided to return to Israel, the country she grew up in.  Ruth refused to let Naomi go home alone.  She wanted Naomi’s people to be her people and Naomi’s God to be her God.   Ruth was willing to leave her home, parents, friends, religion, and language.  She knew of no protector in Israel for Naomi or herself.

“She was quite a woman.  In her new country when she and Naomi were hungry and they didn’t have money, she found a field where she could pick up free food.

“She met the field’s owner, Boaz. He told her, “You don’t need to go to other fields during this harvest. Gather food behind my workers.  I’ve warned the young men who work for me to not bother you.  If you need water, help yourself to our water.”

Ruth thanked him and asked, “Why are you so kind to me?  I’m a foreigner.”

“I’ve heard of your love for Naomi, how you left your family, and live here among strangers.  You’ve taken protection under God and may He reward you.”

Ruth did not know that Boaz’s mother had also been a remarkable foreigner.  She was the famous Rahab.

In the following weeks, Ruth gathered free food from Boaz’s fields. He asked his workers to drop extra barley heads for her. She learned that he was a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband.

When harvest season was over, Naomi surprised Ruth. “It’s time that I found a permanent home for you.  Boaz is a close relative of ours.  Now do what I tell you.  Tonight Boaz will be at his threshing floor separating grain from chaff.  He will sleep outside and guard his harvest.  You take a bath, perfume yourself, and put on the nicest clothes you have.

“When Boaz has finished eating, he will lie down under the stars and go happily asleep.   You slip to his feet, uncover them, and lie there.  When he awakes, he will tell you what to do.”

“I will do as you want me to do, Naomi.”

Later that evening Boaz awoke and saw a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?”

“I am Ruth.  Spread your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”

Boaz replied,   “You could have run after a younger man.  I would like to be your husband’s family redeemer. But, there is a family relative closer than I.  He has the first right to buy the land that was your family’s land and is being sold by Naomi. If he won’t marry you and buy the family land, it would be my honor and joy to marry you and buy back your husband’s land.   Our first child shall be the heir of your husband’s land.    Our second child shall be my heir.

Boaz met with the town council and the other possible redeemer.  He told Boaz, “I want to buy the land, but I might endanger my property.  Boaz did not hesitate, but purchased the land and married Ruth.  From their marriage came the grandfather of King David.  Jesus, the great redeemer, was of the line of King David.

This is Barbara Steiner presenting a Bible story of problems with unexpected conclusions.

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