The story of Ruth in the Bible has always fascinated me. As a woman of faith, her faith stands the test of time. This story begins with Ruth, and her mother-in-law Naomi.

The story of Ruth and Naomi is found in the Book of Ruth which begins at a time in Israel’s history when there is no king, we’re told it was “in the days the judges ruled,” and there was no food, “there was a famine in the land” (Ruth 1:1).

Much like the poor, frightened, and desperate people trying to get out of Afghanistan or from north Africa to Europe or to the US through Mexico, Naomi, and her husband Elimelech and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion – make the risky decision to flee their home in the hope of finding a better life.

Ruth was a Moabite woman who had married Mahlon, an Ephrathite man from the tribe of Judah. When her father-in-law, brother-in-law and husband all died, Ruth was faced with an impossible choice: stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, whom she loved, and follow her back to Bethlehem, or return to her own people in Moab. 

Naomi again tried to persuade Ruth to return to her people and their gods, but without success. Ruth was full of grit and determination; nothing and no one could change her mind. Not only did she continue on with Naomi, but she determined to follow her God. There would be no area of separation.

And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to turn away from following after thee; for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lᴏʀᴅ do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part thee and me (1:16–17).

When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

Ruth is a woman of great character who embodies many positive traits. She is known for her faithfulness, loyalty, virtue, and love.

Ruth’s life exhibited admirable qualities. She was hardworking, loving, kind, faithful, and brave. These qualities gained her a good reputation because she displayed them consistently in all areas of her life.

Let the story of Ruth strengthen your confidence to trust, obey, and actively receive the providence of God.

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Why Did Ruth Stay with Naomi?

Ruth loves her mother-in-law, and through her relationship with Naomi, Ruth has also encountered and come to love the one true God.

Ruth’s decision to cling to Naomi and step out in faith is just the beginning of her story. Once in Judah, Ruth continues to live out her devotion to both Naomi and God.

Ruth could have allowed her questions and doubt to influence her to leave Naomi. But instead her heart came to grips with what she believed. She moved from the agony of questions she could not answer to the reality of answers she could not escape. She felt a deep conviction that she was to stay with Naomi. And she followed that conviction.

 Even though Ruth had to deal with her own personal sorrows, she must have been tempted to simply give up or to withdraw herself from society’s glares and judgment.

However, she does not. Her love for Naomi and God is too great. She does everything that Naomi asks of her and lives according to God’s law. With bold humility, Ruth sets out for a landowner’s fields to glean, to pick up what the harvesters have left behind.

She does not complain. She is not proud, and she does not concern herself with what others might think. Ruth simply obeys God’s law and accepts what God provides.

Imagine you are Ruth upon arriving in Judah. She must have felt ill-equipped to deal with the enormity of her situation. She had suffered so much loss and yet, must still shoulder the responsibility of caring and providing for Naomi, because she loved her, and felt a need to take care of her.

All of us can relate to feeling overcome by suffering or paralyzed by the complexity of our situation. Ruth did not have a grand plan for how to overcome her problems on her own. Instead, she simply chose to take the next right step and do the next right thing.

So, Ruth declares to Naomi: “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16b). Like Abraham, Ruth is willing to leave behind the land of her birth and step out in faith, with only Naomi and God to cling to.

Ruth’s reputation was one of her most valuable assts. Our reputation is formed by our actions- and particularly by how we treat other people. As your character goes, so goes your reputation for being a person of trust, of truth, and of commitment to honor God in all you do.

The Bible is full of stories of powerful women who made a difference and paved a way for women today. One such woman is Ruth, who showed great faith, integrity, and honesty.

After her husband’s death, Ruth could have returned to her own family and country, but she chose instead to remain with Naomi and care for her.

God used Ruth, a Moabite woman, as an example of genuine spiritual character. Even though Ruth was a Moabite woman, that didn’t stop her from worshiping the true God, nor did it stop God from accepting her worship and blessing her greatly.

The Book of Ruth is a perfect example of God’s impartiality. Although Ruth belonged to a people often despised by Israel, she was blessed because of her faithfulness.

Ruth made her home in a foreign land instead of depending on Naomi or waiting for good fortune to happen, she took the initiative.

She went to work. Ruth took on the role of provider, working tirelessly to gather grain so that they would not starve. She was not afraid of admitting what she needed or working hard to get it.

When Ruth went out to the fields, God provided for her. If you are waiting for God to provide, consider this: He may be waiting for you to humbly take the first step, trusting him to lead from there. How can you take action in your circumstances with a faith-filled and trusting heart?

Ruth’s task, though menial, tiring, and perhaps degrading, was done faithfully. What is your attitude when the task you have been given feels below your station? The task at hand may be all you can do, or it may be the work God wants you to do. Or, as in Ruth’s case, it may be a test of your character that will open new doors of opportunity.

She became a great- grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.

“Observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws, and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” ~ 1 Kings 2:3

 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Ruth’s story teaches us the importance of loyalty, faithfulness, and hard work. She is an amazing example of what it means to be a good friend and a devoted family member.

Today, if you are experiencing a time of great struggle or sorrow in your life, know that God is with you. Take encouragement from Ruth’s example of tenacious faith, devotion, and love. If you cling to God, his promises, and his people, he will meet you in your need wherever you are. Lean on God’s guidance and reach out to family, and friends, as you discern your way forward. And remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out. Just continue to take your next right step and God will do the rest! 

Who is Ruth in the Bible

Life isn’t always fair. If we needed a reminder, in the book of Ruthin the bible, in chapter one gives it to us.

Naomi loses it all (or so it certainly feels that way to her) and she does what many of us, in her shoes, would want to do too…  she loses her husband, and her sons, she blames God, grows bitter and seems to lose hope for her life. 

In the midst of her pain and hopelessness she encourages her daughters-in-law to leave her, to return to their families and to seek new lives for themselves.

It’s hard to cling to hope when you don’t know the end of the story. It’s hard to look into someone’s eyes and tell them, “Everything is going to be okay,’ when you don’t really know that it is, and Naomi apparently couldn’t find any hope in their situation.

 She has to convince Orpah twice to leave her and go. Ruth, she tries to convince a third time, but Ruth’s loyalty is stronger than her fears and she tells Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.

Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 

Ruth’s conviction is strong, and she knows she will feel no peace in leaving her mother-in-law. Ruth stays with Naomi if for no other reason than it was the right thing to do.

Ruth is a wonderful example to us of someone who makes the hard choice because it’s the right thing to do…and while she didn’t know the end to their story, we can read ahead to find out that the blessings come.

When you’re faced with a choice and find yourself rationalizing, pray. Pray for the strength to do the right thing…the loyal, honorable thing. Then listen.

Listen to the Holy Spirit living inside of you urging you to do what is right. Seek wise counsel if you need it, too. Sometimes, as in the case of Ruth…the choice is clear, and you just have to act on it. While that choice might not always be the easy choice, it will always be the choice that brings you peace. The blessings are the bonus.

We live in a world of rationalization. We sometimes lie to ourselves because we think we are bettering ourselves. Fear feeds our rationalizations and I believe it to be one of the reasons many of us choose the easy way out over the harder, honorable, right thing to do.

 Ladies remember, blessings come out of obedience. The older I get the more I experience this to be true…also, it’s Biblical.

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-2

When life gets hard and relief doesn’t seem to come, we begin to look around, and wonder if we are making the right decisions. Should we move here or go there. “No matter how difficult life seems, the safest and best place is in the will of God.”

 Moving to a foreign land and new opportunities tempt us when we are looking to escape the “famine” in our lives.

What Is the Meaning of Ruth in the Bible?

Ruth is a captivating story where extreme hardship caused two bereft widows to exercise faith in God. There faith in God was strong.  It is a true story that shows how the Lord graciously provided for them in many different ways and testifies to His goodness and grace.

The story takes place at the time of the Judges in Israel, a time when the Bible says the people of Israel were disobedient to God. Although Ruth was not born a Jew, she married into a Hebrew family and followed their God. She told her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God (Ruth 1:16).”

This is so amazing. This is a picture of God’s plan of redemption, where Naomi is identified as a type of Israel, Ruth is typified as the Gentile Bride of Christ, while Boaz the man she weds, is portrayed as a type of Christ – her Kinsman-Redeemer and beloved Bridegroom.

God knew that He would use this young couple as instruments in the lineage of the promised Messiah… the Seed of the woman, who would one day crush the serpent’s head. They were to be in the line of the promised Seed of Abraham, through Whom all the families of the earth would be blessed. God had already ordained that Ruth and Boaz would be placed in the ancestral line of the Messiah.

Related: Who is Ruth in the Bible

What is the Main Message of the Book of Ruth?

The book of Ruth is one of the most beautiful examples of God’s love and sovereignty recorded in the Bible. Ruth showed remarkable faith for such a young believer. Faith that there was still a purpose for her ahead. Faith to believe that God was who He said He was. And faith to believe that God would provide for her and Naomi.

Characteristics of Ruth in the Bible

Boaz calls Ruth a “woman of noble character” (ch.3, v.11), and we see the truth of this through Ruth’s actions and the way she treats her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth Faithfulness.

Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi as a daughter-in-law and friend is a          great example of love and loyalty. Throughout the story, we see God’s faithfulness to his people. Ruth’s life was guided by faithfulness to God, which showed in her loyalty toward the people she knew.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 NIV

Ruth Kindness.

Ruth showed great kindness to Naomi. In turn, Boaz showed kindness to Ruth- a despised Moabite woman with no money, God showed his kindness to Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz by bringing them together for his purposes.

As Boaz showed his kindness by buying back land to guarantee Ruth and Naomi’s inheritance. Christ showed his kindness by dying for us to guarantee our eternal life. God’s kindness should motivate us to love and honor him.

“The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. Ruth 3:10 NIV

Ruth Integrity.

Ruth showed high moral character by being loyal to Naomi, by her clean break from her former land and customs, and by her hard work in the fields. Boaz showed integrity in his moral standards and honesty by following through on his commitments.

When we have experienced God’s faithfulness and kindness, we should respond by acting with integrity. Just as Ruth and Boaz lived by values that were in sharp contrast to those of the culture portrayed in the book of Judges, we should stand out from the world around us.

Ruth Protection.

Wee see God’s care and protection over the lives of Ruth and Naomi. His supreme control over circumstances brought them safety and security. He guides the minds and activities of people to fulfill his purposes.

No matter how devastating our present situations may be, our hope is in God. His resources are infinite. He can work in the life of any person, whether that person is a king or a stranger in a foreign land. Trust his protection.

Ruth Humility.

Boaz has instructed Ruth that she need not go to any other fields to glean, that she can follow the reapers, meaning that she will always be the first to glean, and so collect the most, that she may remain with the maids and drink from their water. He will also feed her, and he will instruct the reapers not to bundle all of the crop, but to intentionally leave some for Ruth.

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Ruth 2:10

Ruth is Compassionate

Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi, and had compassion for her. Naomi’s husband and sons had died. In an act of selfless compassion and empathy, Ruth traveled with Naomi back to Bethlehem and settled there with her.

Ruth Loyalty and Love.

The book of Ruth is a love story. It is a love story between Ruth and Boaz, one that illustrates the love and loyalty between God and his people. This love story emphasizes God’s unfailing love, loyalty, and faithfulness in all circumstances, and it encourages us to have the kindness of Ruth and Boaz.

God used Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi to fulfill His covenant promises—promises to crush the power of sin and death, bless all nations, provide a perfect Redeemer, and establish the reign of a forever King.

Ruth’s simple obedience displays God’s tender heart for widows, the oppressed, the hungry, and the sojourner (Psalm 146:7–9). As His people, we must strive to have the same heart.


Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem as poor widows, but they soon became prosperous through ruth’s marriage to Boaz. Ruth became the great- grandmother of King David. Yet the greatest blessing was not the money, the marriage, or the child; it was the quality of love and respect between Ruth,

Boaz, and Naomi. We tend to think of blessings in terms of prosperity rather than the high-quality relationships god makes possible for us. But regardless of your economic situation, you can love and respect the people God has brought into your life.

In so doing, you give and receive blessings and, ultimately, know that love is the greatest blessing.

Related: Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy – Bible Study Book

Why is Ruth Important from Scripture

As with all of Scripture, Ruth directs our eyes to Jesus Christ. All of Scripture does so in different ways, however, and the way in which Ruth points to Jesus is especially personal and intimate.

The story begins in the time of the judges, with all its attendant chaos. There, we meet a woman named Naomi who leaves Bethlehem (literally, “house of bread”) with her family during a time of famine for Moab—a land condemned by God for not offering his people bread in the wilderness.

The ensuing story is heartbreaking for Naomi, who must learn about hope amidst her hopelessness.

The Book of Ruth encourages us to view our day-to-day lives as part of God’s bigger plan for our lives and world.

Ruth shows how God is at work in the day-to-day activities of average people. All the characters face life’s normal challenges (death, moving, lack of financial resources, familial responsibilities, etc.) and find God is weaving a story of redemption out of all the details.

By her faith, Ruth becomes a deeply significant woman in Israel’s history, on a par with Leah and Rachel, who built up the twelve tribes, and like Tamar, who built up the line of Judah (4:11–12). Because of the Lord’s faithfulness to Ruth and Boaz, the world would be given the Messiah.

Not knowing the plans God has for her. Ruth is the one who would most vividly demonstrate this to Naomi is Ruth the Moabitess—a suffering servant who pledged to identify with her mother-in-law, even to the point of death.

But Ruth has a story of her own. She belongs to the people condemned by God, but she believes. She treks back to Bethlehem with Naomi, hoping beyond hope that her homeless existence would find a home in the grace of God.

It is back in Bethlehem that Ruth meets Boaz and enjoys promises of no more hunger, no more thirst, and no more tears—in a scene that movingly reminds us of God’s assurances for his people at the end of time.

In Boaz, we see the heart of God as he cares, and looks past Ruth’s illicit Moabitess reputation and sees a bride—both of God and later of Boaz.

After all the courageous acts of faith by Ruth, Boaz is the one who will work tirelessly for her redemption while she rests upon his work (and the God working behind the scenes). Through another acting on their behalf, Naomi finds her hope and Ruth finds her home.

Boaz’s adoption of Ruth looks forward to Christ’s adoption of us. Ephesians 2:12-13 describes our state outside of Christ as, “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Like Ruth, we were aliens, not deserving to be called God’s people. 

Boaz is not ultimately the source of redemption, but the child born to Ruth and for the sake of Naomi. A child who would continue a line that stretches from the beginning of human history—a line that would continue through King David and later to the king of kings, Jesus Christ.

In Christ, we’ve been redeemed from being slaves to sin and from facing God’s wrath to being forgiven in him, knowing his grace and peace. Like Ruth, we’ve been redeemed from spiritual poverty into Christ’s abundant life and from hopelessness and death to true hope and life that is eternal. This gift is ours out of nothing of our own, sheer grace!

Not only does Boaz point to Christ, but Christ is actually descended from Boaz and Ruth. In the very last verse of the book (4:22), it says that Ruth and Boaz’s son, Obed, fathered Jesse, and Jesse’s son was David. Jesus, being a direct descendant of David (Matthew 1:1), is therefore a direct descendant of Ruth and Boaz. Matthew 1:1-5 includes them in Jesus’s genealogy.

Moral of the Story of Ruth in the Bible     

I think about what Ruth has told us. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to leave her home and everyone she knew to travel to an alien land.

In that way, she was like Abraham. She would have been seen and treated like an alien—a foreigner. Despite this, she followed her heart.

“Maybe you’ve felt like an outsider at times. Some people feel that way their whole lives, like they don’t fit anywhere, like nobody understands them.

Even Jesus was treated as an outsider. The people He came to save didn’t recognize Him or want Him.  But you don’t have to be outside looking in. God invites you to be a part of His family. All you have to do is say yes to Him, and you’ll be His adopted child. He loves you and wants you.”

Because Ruth followed her heart and went with Naomi to Bethlehem, her influence on others increased. Instead of looking down on her as a foreigner, the Hebrews noticed her and admired her.

She gained the favor of Boaz, who told her, “I’ve heard all about you—heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers.

God reward you well for what you’ve done—and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings.”

What Can We Learn from Ruth in the Bible?

Ruth showed great faith for such a young believer. Faith that there was still a purpose for her ahead. Faith to believe that God was who He said He was, and that He will come through for her. And faith to believe that God would provide for her and Naomi.

If you’re in an unsure place, start with faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” You might not be able to see what God is doing, but trust that He is moving.

Ruth’s decision to cling to Naomi and step out in faith is just the beginning of her story.  Ruth new to make the decisions she did, she needed God to help her. Once in Judah, Ruth continues to live out her devotion to both Naomi and God. In her own sorrow, Ruth must have been tempted to simply give up or to withdr


Lord, sometimes it’s hard to make the right choice when it means saying no to something we think we need or know we want. It’s even harder when it means uncertainty. I pray that I will trust you, trust your word, and trust the Holy Spirit living in me. Help me to choose loyalty and good character. Whether my choice is in public or private, I pray that I would choose to do what brings you honor and glory and ultimately what will bring peace into my life. Amen

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One Comment

  1. This is such a great read. I loved reading about Ruth and Naomi in years past. This read certainly is full of details of every aspect of Ruth’s character and life. My middle name is Ruth. When I was a young girl, I hated my middle name. I wouldn’t tell anyone what it was and dared anyone that knew it to say it. As I grew older and started reading about Ruth’s story, I had a new appreciation for my middle name. In fact, I use it occasionally and tell others when they ask. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

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