I’m still poring over this pint-size gem of a book called Ruth. It’s only four chapters long—no more than five or six pages—but I’m gripped by the grit of this story. For heaven’s sake, how did I miss this? I mean, the real story. The story of love that challenges customs, shatters social standards, and blesses the broken.
We’re Not Letting Just Anybody In
I don’t know about you, but I hate labels. Especially the kind we stick on people. You know what I mean: she’s fat, so she must be lazy. He’s uneducated, so he must not be too bright. She doesn’t have a lot of polish, so she must be from the wrong side of tracks. And as for that Moabite, she’ll never be an Israelite. She’s never gonna be one of us—not gonna happen!
And we draw an exclusionary circle—“us four and no more”—ain’t nobody getting in who doesn’t measure up! That precious Ruth, that woman with a past, certainly ain’t getting in. She’s always gonna be Ruth the Moabite. She’s got a label and it ain’t going away.
The Cream’s Gonna Rise to The Top
But Ruth doesn’t let her “outcast” label hold her back. Turns out, her hope was never in the society of Israel. Nope, her hope is in the God of Israel. So, she rolls up her sleeves and goes to work. Sunup to sundown. I’m talking sweat-dripping, back-bending, hard work. The kind of work that makes the cream rise to the top and surpass any label.
Then Boaz, lord of the fields, shows up and takes notice of the outcast, The Moabite. And Boaz does the unthinkable. He shatters the social standard, breaks with tradition, and beckons her to break bread at his table. That one extraordinary act of compassion erases the exclusionary circle.
Make Me Bold Like Boaz
The way we treat the outcasts reflects the condition of our hearts. As I read, I want to be brave like Boaz—willing to share my blessings with those who seek refuge.
Broken-Hearted, Exclusionary, Social Standards, Inclusive, Love, Refuge, Blessing, Shelter, Safety