When a famine hits Israel Elimelech gives up and leaves Bethlehem with his wife Naomi and goes to Moab to make a living with his sons Mahlon and Chilion. Their seemingly peaceful life in Moab comes to a screeching half when tragedy strikes and Naomi loses first her husband and later her sons.
Sadly she packs up her belongings and encourages her daughters-in-law to stay and get other husbands. But Ruth loves Naomi and refuses to leave her. When they return to Bethlehem, Naomi tells Ruth
she can glean in the fields to gather grain for their food. Sovereignly Ruth ends up gleaning in Boaz's fields. Boaz has already heard of Ruth's kindness to return with Naomi, and instructs her to stick with his servants throughout the harvest. When Naomi hears of this she is filled with joy because Boaz is one of their kinsmen.
According to one of the ordinances God gave to Moses, if someone died leaving a widow, a kinsman had the right to redeem both the land and the widow (Lev. 25:25; Deut. 25:5-10). One evening Naomi gives Ruth instructions on how to entreat Boaz to redeem her. Boaz tells her that another family member is closer, and that in the morning he will check with him.
The other man tells Boaz that he can't mar his own inheritance by performing the duty of a kinsman. This leaves Boaz free to marry Ruth. This story touches me because even through she was a Moabite and not allowed to enter the congregation of Jehovah, God gave her a kinsman as a redeemer. This is a beautiful picture of what the Lord has done for all of us! Through Ruth's love for God and His people she was not only brought into the congregation, but she also became a great-grandmother of King David!!
In chapter 5 on pages 23-24, and 25 Witness Lee explains how Ruth is an important link in Christ's genealogy:
In the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, there were not many on earth who had linked themselves to God. At the time of Ruth the line between God and man was very thin. It was thin to such an extent that it consisted mainly of two persons, a couple--Boaz and Ruth. This couple was brought together in a marvelous and sovereign way. Although Boaz was born an Israelite and Ruth was born in Moab, an incestuous country, Ruth was brought to the good land, even to Bethlehem, the city of David....Another aspect of Ruth's reward is that she became a crucial ancestor in the genealogy to bring in the royal house of David for the producing of Christ (Ruth 4:13b-22; Matt. 1:5-16)....She is thus a great link in the chain that is bringing Christ to every corner of the earth. We all are indebted to Ruth, for without her Christ could not have reached us (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth. Living Stream Ministry: Anaheim, 1993, Print).
You can listen to excerpts of Witness Lee's speaking the Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges, & Ruth on Life Study of the Bible with Witness Lee. You can also read the online Life-Studies of Joshua, Judges & Ruth and check out other resources available to enhance your study of the Bible on Living Stream Ministry's website.
Other Posts on Joshua, Judges, & Ruth:
What's the Background of the Book of Joshua?
Seeing that the Account of the Battle of Joshua & the Battle of Jericho
Shows God's Move with Man
What Happened in the Book of Judges?