So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
— Genesis 1:27 ESV
“Is this really my country?” I ask myself as I glance at the terrifying headlines that shout racism, nuclear bombs, hatred, abuse, betrayal. Recent national events add to the ever-growing divide. Do you share my anxiety? Where can we find hope in this fearful world? Through what worldview grid will we view the news?
In the middle of all the chaotic uncertainty of this world, Christmas arrives and reminds us there is hope because of that Baby in the manger.
It’s no wonder that many of us turn to the “comfort food” of Christmas, longing to break the underlying stress of daily life along with the overarching tension of living in this broken world. This year, the Hallmark Channel started promoting its countdown to Christmas during the summer, zeroing in on that desire for peace and happy endings.
After Tamar and Rahab, we, too, might be ready for a Hallmark movie kind of story. Enter Ruth. The very mention of her name instantly brings to mind one of the Bible’s most poignant and heartwarming stories of love, dedication and loyalty. Yet Ruth suffered greatly and her circumstances pushed her way out of her comfort zone.
The book of Ruth follows the book of Judges which ends with this somber declaration: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” The Israelites rejected God as their King and determined their own rule of law. The placement of Ruth’s story after such a declaration is no accident. These were hard times. Yet in the middle of the darkness, God was putting in place all the pieces required for keeping His promise to send the Messiah. Ruth’s story reminds us that though we may not see God working, He is never resting.
Such truth gives me hope in these desperate times and encourages me to watch for those shining clues that God is in control and working behind the scenes to achieve His purposes.
Ruth’s story shouts to us that God is sovereign and we can trust Him.
A big bonus of Ruth’s story is that she loves her mother-in-law, Naomi, and negates any potential mother-in-law jokes! Generations have looked back at her life with nothing but the deepest admiration. So, find a quiet spot and get to know your sister Ruth, midwife of the Messiah.
Treasured by Him,
Remind yourself of Ruth’s story or get to know her better with these suggested resources:
Read the book of Ruth. It’s short and reads like a novel, but every word is true!
Read the book Harlots and Heroines, The Midwives of the Messiah, Chapters 3 & 4
Listen to: Harlots and Heroines - Ruth Part 1, which can be found on the MARKINC.org website under “In His Grip”
Listen to: Harlots and Heroines - Ruth Part 2, which can be found on the MARKINC.org website under “In His Grip”
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