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Friday, May 26, 2006

Questioning Ruth

A few thoughts on the Book of Ruth.

1) What happened to Ruth's parents? Why didn't they question her decision to travel back to Bethlehem? Were they already dead? Did Ruth ever go back to visit them? Were they, as worshipers of false gods, eternally lost? The Bible doesn't tell us any of these things. What happened to their daughter was the best thing that could have happened to her, even if they never saw her again. She found the true God, and, apparently, love and marriage.

2) What would have happened if Mahlon hadn't died? Presumably Ruth would have never left Moab, and we'd have never heard of her. God could have worked something else out for filling the role of Boaz' wife, but he used the death of Mahlon to bring about his plan.

3) Was Ruth good-looking? The Bible doesn't say. Probably gleaning in a hot field doesn't do much for makeup and hairstyle, but Boaz seems to have been attracted to her. The Bible does refer to Ruth's character, in Ruth 2:11-12, and Boaz is the speaker. Boaz was probably considerably older, as he was the owner of a large farm, and referred to Ruth as "my daughter" in 3:10. There is no mention of another wife, either before or after he married Ruth. Apparently there was something about her, probably both her looks and her character, that attracted both Mahlon and Boaz to her.

4) Why isn't Ruth mentioned in Hebrews 11? Rahab is. (And while I'm at it, why is Barak listed among the heroes of faith, when Deborah isn't?)

I don't know the answers to any of these questions, and don't expect to, at least not on this side of eternity. If I needed to, God would tell me.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Joy said...

Thanks for the insight. Ruth is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It challenges me to look at my faith and if I would be willing to step up and do what she did.