A Beautiful Play with Four Amazing Characters

What happens when the lives of a prostitute, a foreigner, a melodramatic widow, and a wealthy bachelor all intertwine into one mesmerizing story?

You get one of the most redemptive and beautiful stories in all of literature.

There’s a lot I love about the Bible, but one of my all-time favorite books is the Book of Ruth.

I simply adore this story—and I wish it was longer than four chapters as there are so many other details about the characters that I would love to know, but I guess that’ll have to wait for Heaven.

I’ve read Ruth countless times and each time, it seems I come across something new and different. Over the years, God has used this book to teach me truths about patience, genuine love, compassion, loyalty, and so much more.

Needless to say, when I found out that one of my latest classes was a study of the book of Ruth, I was quite thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see how God was going to use this Bible study in my life!

One of my favorite authors, Max Lucado, has such a amazing gift for word pictures and I love how he introduces the book of Ruth. Consider this the Cliff Notes’ version for four wonderful chapters that will change your perspective on how God can make beauty out of ashes:

Here is a play with four characters.

Character number one is a prostitute.

Character number two is her son. By the time we meet him he is wealthy, powerful and single. (We wonder if his bachelorhood has anything to do with being the son of a prostitute.)

Character number three is a foreign widow in a clannish culture. Everything about her is different. Speaks with an accent. Wears a different name. Eats different food. Has a different way. Her only friend is her mother-in–law who happens also to be a widow and happens to be:

Character number four. She is older than the first widow. Too old to have kids. When her two sons die and her husband dies, she is left alone. With only a foreigner as a friend.

Four people. Each rejected. Each alone. Four frazzled strings in the bottom of the knitting basket. Left untouched, awaiting the toss of the master weaver. But he doesn’t discard them.

He picks them up and weaves them together.

The result? The unmarried son of the prostitute meets the foreign widow who left her homeland to accompany her mother-in–law. The mother-in–law recognizes the bachelor as a relative and urges her daughter– in–Law to make her self available. She does, the two marry, and the single bachelor has a wife – the young widow has a husband and the older widow has a grandson and we have a story of providential romance.

Such is the story of Ruth.

You’ll recognize her as the younger widow. The older is named Naomi. Boaz is the son of the prostitute. And the prostitute? Well she isn’t mentioned in this book. But she is mentioned in of all places, the Gospel of Matthew.

Read the words in the parentheses of Matthew 1:5. Go ahead and flip over there, I’ll wait for you. Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Boaz of Rachab;

Did you see it? Salmon was the farther of Boaz. (Boaz’s mother was Rahab.)

Who would have thought? A harlot on Jesus’ family tree. But these kind of things happen in the Bible. Aren’t we glad they do? Aren’t we glad the Master Weaver has a place in His plan for each of us?

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