How to Survive Transition – Ruth, the Bible’s Cinderella Story


Ruth in the Bible :

Ruth is a person I identify closely with. I’m drawn to the story of Ruth again and again. Ruth was a widow in a strange land with a family not her own, her life went terribly wrong for her, yet God provided for her in her poverty- why? Because she loved Naomi and trusted in the God of Abraham. There is a book in the Hebrew Bible devoted to telling Ruth’s story, and Jews read her book every year at the Feast of Weeks.

The Gospel of Matthew mentions Ruth as a Gentile who was adopted into the Jewish family for doing the right thing. It’s interesting to note that The genealogy of Jesus includes Ruth the Moabite.

There are only two books of the Bible named after women: Esther and Ruth. Ruth is also one of the few women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew when women weren’t ordinarily included in genealogies.

Ruth’s story – it’s an important one. A simple Moabite widow becomes an essential character in the powerful story of salvation woven through the Bible. Ruth’s story is commonplace, and possibly that’s what makes Ruth’s story so fascinating. She doesn’t come from a famous family. She doesn’t have great riches or a great position. Ruth is just a widow from a foreign land. At first, nothing is going in her favour, but she’s brave, and her faith never wavers. The life of a foreign widow who has nothing becomes so vital that it’s included in the Bible and her name recognized in the lineage of Jesus.


A food crisis in Canaan forces Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons, to migrate from Bethlehem to Moab. In Moab, the sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Unfortunately, Elimelech passes away, and about 10 years later, both of Naomi’s sons die, as well, so Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah become widows.

Being a widow back then was even more difficult than it is today. In fact, Naomi encourages both girls to go back to their parents and find husbands who can take care of them. 

The story goes that Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth 1 NIV -In – Bible Gateway

 VERSEThen Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed them goodbye, and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons? Who could become your husband? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13, would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

14 At this, they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. So go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”

So, Ruth and Naomi both return to Bethlehem; unfortunately, they have nothing, so Ruth works in the grain fields to survive. It’s there that Ruth meets Boaz, who also turns out to be her “redeemer.” This means as a relative of her dead husband, he has a legal right to claim her as his wife.

 After Boaz legally secures his place as her redeemer, the two are married and later produce a son named Obed – the grandfather of King David.

What you do see is an ordinary – and challenging – life shaped by faith and guided by the God she believes in, and today we can look back and see the mighty way her life was used.

There are many things to learn from the story of Ruth, however in this article, here is just ONE powerful lesson that helped me when I was in crisis.


At the very beginning of the book of Ruth, she’s living in Moab, her home nation. Moab was a place that most Israelites didn’t like. It was an enemy nation, and Israelites hated the Moabites. To make matters worse, Ruth was a widow, she was childless, and she lived with her mother-in-law, in other words, not socially acceptable.

Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and help her, all the while knowing that life would be hard. Her country of origin made her an outcast, and so it would be the same in Israel. Having no husband, no children gave her plenty of reason to disappear and simply live the rest of her life in obscurity.

But that’s not what she did. She decided to go with Naomi to Bethlehem, left her country and her family behind. Ruth didn’t let her past hold her back. She chose to serve the God of Naomi while believing she would live purposefully and meaningfully.

No matter your past, it does not count for anything-you still have a purpose in your life. 

You will find meaning if you put your most authentic faith in Jesus Christ. Your past is not the predictor of your future when you make a choice in faith. Your fantastic Future Awaits YOU!!

Can you relate to Ruth in some way? If so – leave a comment- I would love to hear from you!

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