The Story of Ruth

Who Was Ruth in the Bible?

Ruth lived in the time of the judges. She loved her mother-in-law, Naomi, who’d lost not only her husband but both of her sons. At the barley harvest, Naomi suggested that Ruth go to Boaz, the owner of a nearby field, while he winnowed barley. She essentially asked him to be her kinsman-redeemer. Having an open mind and a teachable spirit, she listened to her mother-in-law and did as she’d requested (Ruth 3:2–5), following Naomi’s instructions to the letter. Boaz responded favorably.

Soon married, Ruth and Boaz had a son named Obed. Ruth trusted the Lord. He rewarded her faithfulness by giving her not only a husband but a son (Obed), a grandson (Jesse), and a great-grandson named David, the king of Israel (4:17). Besides these gifts (Psalm 127:3), God gave Ruth the blessing of being listed in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

•  Enjoy this 1960 classic Twentieth Century-Fox movie (2 hrs.): Ruth (Elana Eden), Naomi (Peggy Wood), and Boaz (Stuart Whitman); less a Bible-text account, this movie is more a romance story held in biblical times.

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Ruth is an example of how God can change a life and take it in a direction He has foreordained. We see Him working out His perfect plan in Ruth’s life, just as He does with all His children (Romans 8:28). Although Ruth came from a pagan background in Moab, once she met the God of Israel, she became a living testimonial to Him by faith. Even though she lived in humble circumstances before marrying Boaz, she believed that God was faithful to care for His people.

Also, Ruth is an example to us of hard work and faithfulness. We know that God rewards faithfulness: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).[1]

Watch this animated video (7 minutes) by The Bible Project, which provides a biblical overview of “Ruth.”[2]