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The Hebrew Scriptures record the history of a gentile woman named Ruth.

Because of a famine in Israel, Naomi, her husband, and her two sons moved to the heathen country of Moab. Naomi's husband died and her two sons married two Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth.

When Naomi's sons died, she prepared to return to Bethlehem. Naomi's two daughters-in-law loved her and wanted to stay with her. After Naomi encouraged them to stay with their people Orpah kissed Naomi and returned home crying. Ruth, on the other hand, had love, not only for Naomi, but also for Naomi's God, the God of Israel. Ruth became what is known as a spiritual Jew.

When Ruth and Naomi reached Bethlehem Ruth went into a field to collect the grain that was left over after the field had been harvested. She worked on a field that belonged to a man who loved the LORD named Boaz. When Boaz saw how hard Ruth worked he asked her not to go into anyone else's field, and he allowed her to collect grain from even the areas which had not yet been harvested. When Ruth had finished working that day she brought the grain to her mother-in-law Naomi and told her about her experience with Boaz. Naomi praised God because Boaz was a relative of Naomi's deceased husband.

Now it was customary for the nearest relative to take the responsibility of marrying the spouse of a deceased relative. Naomi encouraged Ruth to find out if Boaz had any intentions of marring her. Ruth did as her mother-in-law told her. Boaz told Ruth that there was another man who was actually a closer relative than he was and that he would find out what this man's intentions were. If this other relative did not want to marry Ruth then he promised her that as the Lord lives, he would redeem her as his wife.

Boaz spoke with the man in the presence of ten witnesses. The man declined the offer, making Boaz the nearest relative. Boaz redeemed Ruth from her widowhood, making her his bride. Ruth and Boaz had a son and named him Obed. Obed later became the grandfather of King David.

Isn't that interesting that King David's Great grandmother was not a Jew. It is also interesting how Boaz had to wait to redeem Ruth until he became the nearest relative. That is why the Messiah had to become a human being before he could redeem us to heaven.

Picture originally found here

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