Under His Wings: Ruth shows us the way | Faith
by The Press and Standard | May 12, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: May 8, 2019 at 1:17 pm
The God Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge
O how the Savior longed to place the people who went by His name in Jerusalem under His wing, but they refused (Matthew 23:27). But here is Ruth, a widowed Moabite woman, who is not only a foreigner from a pagan land but also a gentile. So, why was she, of all people, counted among the saints of God? Why has she been offered the portion and protection that only comes from God’s own loving hand, a portion reserved exclusively for His people? There is only one reason for this miracle of adoption: her faith (Romans 9:30-33).
The odds were against the young Moabite woman. Ruth was a widowed woman, who made a journey of self-sacrifice with another widower, her mother-in-law. This journey led her to a land in which she was seen as a foreigner and an outsider by the indigenous Jewish people. For she was a Moabite by birth, and these people were prohibited from entering the assembly of the Lord by the mosaic law for centuries (Deuteronomy 23:3). However, her mother-in-law, Naomi, was a Jew, a woman whose people were the people of the one, true God. Ruth made a choice in faith to leave the idolatrous land of her birth and, against all odds, place her life in hands of the holy God. The author of the book of Ruth recognizes this faith through the words spoken by Ruth to her defiant mother-in-law, “Your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God” (Ruth 1:16). Like all the true children of God, by faith, this Moabite widow was saved. And, through her faith in the Messiah to come, she became a daughter of the living God (Ruth 1:16).
Take a look at this faith of Ruth. Despite who she was by birth, despite what she had done in her past, and despite the insurmountable circumstances that lay before her, she trusted in God alone for her salvation.
We who are in Christ are too like Ruth, the Moabite. We were once foreigners of this God, sinners living among the idolatry of the pagans in our own time. But, only through the mercy of God, which saves us from the final judgment of these things to come, are we adopted into His family and counted among His children.
The Apostle Paul, a minister to the gentiles, reaffirms this sovereign adoption by recalling the breathtaking words of God given to the prophet Hosea, declaring, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God’” (Romans 9:25-26).
But there is only one way to know this blessed adoption; it is by faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, who was slain for our sin, who on the cross payed the sin-debt we could not. Only by trusting in Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice are the people of God saved and known as His beloved children.
Trust in Him, ask for forgiveness from your sins and know this wonderful life eternal in Jesus.
(Jeremy Breland of Ruffin is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)