Every Christian is Ruth

Posted on April 27, 2022


By David Ettinger

A Beautiful Book
The Book of Ruth is one of the Bible’s most beautiful. It tells the story of a foreigner’s (Ruth) love for her widowed mother-in-law (Naomi), her nation (Israel), and her God (Yahweh). If you have never read it, do so now! It is only 4 chapters and can be easily whisked through.

Besides being a beautiful story, the Book of Ruth has special significance to believers as we have much in common with this wonderful woman of God. In essence, every Christian is Ruth.

Overwhelmed by Kindness
In Chapter 2, Ruth goes to reap corn in the field of a family relative named Boaz. When Boaz notices her, he extends to her grace, generosity, and kindness – and all 3 in abundance!

Overwhelmed, the Moabite Ruth “fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’” (v. 10).

Do you see it? Do you see how you are Ruth?

Before and After
Though this is a true account, the symbolism is striking.

Picture Boaz as our Heavenly Father, and Ruth as you before you came to know Christ as your Lord and Savior. At that time, “you were … separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

Like Ruth, you were outside of the family of God; you were a “foreigner” by belief, and the wrath of God was still upon you (John 3:36). However, after God bestowed His unmerited favor upon you, “now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

A Most Apt Reaction
Having received the gift of eternal life by such a good and benevolent God, how can you not do just as Ruth did and cry out to God: “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”

In reality, Ruth actually did do something to receive Boaz’s blessings: She displayed remarkable kindness to Naomi and pledged her allegiance to the God of Israel (Ruth 1:16-17). However, you and I did absolutely nothing to merit God’s favor.

This is because there is nothing any human being can do to earn God’s salvation. It is a gift of pure grace – a one-way transaction from God to us.

We cannot pay God back for this free gift; we can only resolve to please Him by living obediently. But make no mistake about: You and I did absolutely nothing to “earn” our salvation; it is “the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

And even in Ruth’s case, Boaz was under no obligation to bless her. If this Gentile woman – raised in paganism – can fall down in humility before a man, cannot you and I do the same before our glorious Heavenly Father?

Of course we can! And while our noses are pressed against the carpet, let us utter Ruth’s poignant words: “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”  

We can’t answer this question, but aren’t you oh so glad that God has found favor in such unworthy “foreigners” as ourselves?

May the name of the Lord be praised!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.