“Ruth the Moabite.” This is a common phrase in the book of Ruth. In chapter 2 alone she is referred to as ‘Ruth the Moabite’ three times. Had she been known as ‘Ruth the great’ or ‘Ruth the wonderful’ that would have been one thing, but Moabite? This was not only her ancestry, but also a stigma. The Moabite lineage stems all the way back to Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Lot lived in the sinful city of Sodom with his daughters, and was taken out of there only because God had to send his angels to take them out before he destroyed the city! After Lot and his daughters left Sodom and were living in Zoar, there was absolutely no man to be found to give Lot’s daughters a son to carry on his line. Lot’s daughters then decided to deceive their father by getting him drunk and sleeping with him, and the oldest daughter had a son and named him Moab… WOW! (The full story is in Genesis 19) What an unbelievably terrible story about your ancestors. This would be comparable to discovering your great grandfather was the absolute worst Nazi general, who was responsible for killing most of the Jews during the Holocaust; nobody wants that to be their identity, but this was Ruth’s. She was “the Moabite.”
Her failure had become her identity. The writer of Ruth intentionally and divinely placed her identity in the text, but according to our story it didn’t matter to Boaz that Ruth was a Moabite. Boaz was able to look beyond Ruth’s stigma to meet a need that only he could meet. This is such a beautiful picture of Christ!
How many of you reading this blog have allowed your failure in this life to become your identity? You have let your major failures define who you are! God is speaking through this passage to a generation of failures saying, I don’t care what you’ve done, I don’t care what others say about you, it doesn’t matter how you feel about yesterday, you may not can forgive yourself but I will… I will accept you; I am willing to lower my status and risk losing everything for the sake of taking care of you & giving you the value you’ve been looking for your entire life.
Boaz gave Ruth value and did not discount her because of her failure. Praise The Lord Jesus that He’s done the same for us by way of the cross! As followers of Christ our past sin and failure has been nailed to the cross, therefore canceling our record of debt to God, which was our sin (Col. 2:14-15). Your new identity is therefore now a child of God, a son or daughter of the king, someone who’s gone from spiritual death to eternal and abundant life!
Paul said: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Embrace your new identity.