Tag Archives: Ruth

Overwhelmed by God’s grace

I sat in church and blinked back the tears.

It didn’t matter, they rolled down my cheeks anyway.

As our pastor read through Matthew 1, I couldn’t stop my emotions from telling on me.

My heart was overwhelmed by the grace of God.

Each and every name in the lineage of Jesus is precious.

Most, don’t have anything more than their name and who was their father and who was their son.

But they hold an incredible honor of being linked directly to Jesus Christ.

As precious as that is, what caused my deep emotion was the four women included.

Matthew 1:3 NKJV — Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.

Matthew 1:4 NKJV — Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.

Matthew 1:5 NKJV — Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,

Matthew 1:6 NKJV — and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

Within these four verses are four women who are included and each one has the incredible story of God’s grace upon their lives.

Tamar was the mother of Perez, because her father-in-law was refusing to do what was right, she “played the harlot”, and became pregnant by him. (Genesis 38:6-26)

Yet, when the truth came out Judah testifies that Tamar was more righteous than he was and the wrong is not repeated. (Genesis 38:26)

Rehab was a harlot by occupation, yet she had the wisdom to see the God of the Israelites was the one true God.

She risked herself and hid the spies from her own people and in return she gained a brand new future for herself and her entire family. (Joshua 2, 6:17,25)

Afterward, she married an Israelite man, Salmon, and was the mother of a very honorable man, Boaz.

Ruth’s story is full of inspiration.

She was from the hated people of Moab.

Her life had been marred by grief, first from a barren womb and then from the death of her husband.

Her mother-in-law had suffered much as well and when she was to return to Israel, Ruth chose to leave her people, her people’s ways, her people’s idolatry, and she clung to Naomi.

They arrived in Bethlehem, but things didn’t get easier.

Ruth was reduced to gleaning the fields, the law’s provision for those who were poor.

Yet, she did what was needed and she must have done it well, for she was noticed and God ends her story as a joyful wife and mother. (Book of Ruth)

The last woman was not named by her own name: Bathsheba, but rather by her first husband’s name.

He was a man of integrity and honor. (2 Sam. 23:39, 1 Ch. 11:41)

He served God and the king with righteousness and it cost him his life.

For King David had fallen into adultery and when he couldn’t trick Uriah into thinking the child in his wife was his own, the king sent word by his own hand, to have him killed in battle. (2 Sam. 11)

The consequences of this were grave and Bathsheba went through terrible loss. (2 Sam. 12:1-25)

Yet, God blessed her marriage with King David and they had four sons. (1 Ch. 3:5)

God’s grace in the lives of these four women astound me.

As I listened to their names being read my heart was encouraged again by the vast depth and awesome impact of a life which God touches.

And He is the same today.

His grace is amazing and He gives it to those who are willing.

Matthew 16:24 KJV — Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

May our hearts be encouraged and our minds inspired to choose to follow Jesus and walk in His grace, today.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for walking with us and showing us such incredible grace and mercy. Lord, Your Word is full of those who chose to obey You and the marvelous ways You used their lives. Lord, I want to be one of them. I want to choose You daily and to live as Your servant, Your friend. I want my life to be completely surrendered before You, that You might be glorified. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the encouragement. Thank You for Your instruction. Lord, I give You this day and I praise Your holy name! Amen.


Illustration by Frances Hook taken from My book of Bible Stories by Wanda Hayes.

Her back ached.

It had been hours since she began.

She refused to look up, the Sun constantly drove her to wipe her brow and feel the tickle of moister between her shoulder blades.

Her arms were complaining, there was a kink in her neck, but what bothered her most was the fear.

Questions and doubt buzzed her brain, more obnoxious than the flies that buzzed her face.

“What’s going to happen when harvest is over?”

Hunching her shoulders to better carry her burden, she stubbornly ignored this and caught up another shaft of grain.

“You’re not foolish enough to think this pitiful amount you’ve gleaned so far will provide until next harvest!”

She took a deep breath to steady herself.

“Moses said: When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”

She reached out and picked up more gleanings, being careful with each.

“Lord, thank You for the food You have provided for Naomi and myself. I trust You to prove for our future.”

Wiping her brow again, she continued on, diligent in the back breaking, monotony of gleaning the field.

Ruth 2:2 NKJV — So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:3 NKJV — Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

This is Ruth.

The Bible doesn’t tell us about how she felt.

It doesn’t describe the pain, the fear, or even the life shared with a woman who had lost all. (Ruth 1:21)

It simply tells us what Ruth did.

She diligently took up the only task she could do and she worked at it with a determination and gentleness which speaks volumes about her character.

She had experienced disappointment, no children were added to her though she was married.

Ruth 1:4 NKJV — Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.

She had watched tragedy take it’s toll.

Ruth 1:5 NKJV — Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

This young woman had known incredible loss, but she didn’t allow it to rob her of integrity.

Her mind and heart belonged to her family and the God of the Hebrews.

Ruth 1:16 NKJV — But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

As a woman from Moab, she was risking a great deal. Moab and Israel were not on friendly terms.

Yet, she worked at the task she could do, the task she had to do and she did it well.

Ruth 2:7 NKJV — “And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”

It’s pretty difficult to imagine how exhausting this would be.

Ruth shows incredible faith in simply doing the task at hand.

And her story ends with God’s faithfulness to her.

Ruth 4:13 NKJV — So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

Ruth 4:17 NKJV — Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the story of Ruth. Thank You for how she trusted in You with all her heart. Lord, please help me to be like her. To do what is difficult. To trust You with my future. To be steadfast in following You with my whole heart. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for what You did in Ruth’s day and what You are doing in mine. Blessed be Your name Jesus! Amen.

Perfect timing

The Lord’s timing is perfect.

As a young adult I often wondered why God waited on things.

My thought was, “I prayed, where is the answer? What are You waiting for?”

It’s only in looking backwards that I can see the reasons He did things.

And very often He did answer, it just didn’t look like what I expected, so I didn’t recognize it for what it was.

So, I’ve learned and I’m still learning about God’s timing.

As I prepared for bed last night, I wanted something to read, something to take my mind off the circumstances our family is in right now.

Our hearts have been heavy with concern for two family members who are dealing with health issues and we’ve also been seeking God for some other family members and the future God has for them.

We know the Lord is in charge and He will see them all through, but I’d be lieing if I didn’t admit we are all pretty emotional and rather spent.

So, I was asking the Lord what I should read.

What about My Word?


Wish I’d thought of that myself, but yes, I will right after I brush my teeth.

While in the other room I noticed a Voice of the Martyr’s Magazine.

My curiosity caused me to flip to the inside and read about a little girl.

She was 7 when a suicide bomber set off a bomb in the courtyard of her church on Easter Sunday in 2019.

Both her parents died and she became blind.

The incredible part of the story is how this has affected her.

She’s a devout Christian and, although she misses her parents,is secure she will be with them again in heaven.

The article mentioned more that her attitude on life is encouraging to others.

After reading this uplifting story, I got in bed and read the book of Ruth.

It’s where I was in my Bible plan and it was perfect.

I wanted to read something to escape, but instead God gave me something to inspire.

Both Ruth and this little girl had experienced great loss.

Both chose to respond by clinging to God.

Both have been rewarded, their lives are testifying to the goodness of God.

How can I say that when the little girl is blind and an orphan?

Because it’s not about her circumstances, it’s about her soul and after reading the article it is clear her soul is safe with Jesus.

It is with renewed vigor that I begin today.

No, our family circumstances have not really changed nor has healing visited those who are hurting, but I know God is faithful.

He sees all that each one is going through and He has a perfect plan for it all.

His timing is perfect.

And I can trust that He is answering our prayers.

I’m looking forward to seeing what He shall do in and through all these things.

And while I’m waiting, I’m going to praise Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for leading me to read those two stories. How encouraging it is to see others follow You no matter the cost! What joy to see You working in the lives of others. How great and mighty You are! Your ways are so much higher than our ways and Your thoughts higher than our thoughts. Lord, thank You for being so loving and compassionate. Thank You for carrying us through no matter the circumstance. Thank You for turning what the enemy meant for evil into good. How I long for the day when evil shall be dealt with, but I know it is your great mercy which stays Your hand and I love that. Lord Jesus, I want people to know You. I want people to be saved and I know You want that even more than I. Thank You for being so merciful, so faithful. Amen.