I thought I knew a lot when I wrote Eve’s Sisters, but now I realize that I was only just beginning to understand the women of the Bible. Each day I learn something new or I look at things in a different way. For instance, although I wrote about both Rahab and Naomi, I didn’t see a connection between the two until yesterday.
Were they both mothers-in-law to Ruth at different times in her life? Naomi was her first mother-in-law, the one we are most familiar with. Later, Rahab, the former prostitute marries Salmon, and their child Boaz marries Ruth. Their child is Obed who just happens to be in the genealogy of Christ. It’s true that God can use all kinds of people and that a person can’t always see the good things in store for her.
I realized Ruth’s connection to both women yesterday, Naomi who “went out bitter” and Rahab who hid the Israelite spies and instructed them on how to leave the city undetected. She only asked one little favor of the spies: Would you spare my family?” According to their agreement, Rahab left a red cord hanging from her window, and when the Israelites returned, God spared her, a foreigner and outsider who should have been killed.
One day Rahab meets Salmon. They marry and have Boaz and he grows up and marries an outsider from Moab, a woman named Ruth. They have a baby named Obed, and their great-grandson is King David.
No matter how dire the circumstances of your life, things can change for the better. Of course, things can change for the worse too, but in this situation, Rahab makes a wise decision to help the spies, she asks for help, and later she marries Salmon—all decisions that changed her status from a Canaanite prostitute to an Israelite wife and mother whose great-grandson was David.
Here’s a short excerpt from Eve’s Sisters http://tinyurl.com/qe573ed about Ruth and Naomi:
Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi had some far-reaching consequences. At her mother-in-law’s suggestion, Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi, and at some point she attracted his interest. Naomi instructed Ruth to lie at his feet one night, and Boaz promised to seek her as his wife. Eventually the two marry, and Ruth gave birth to Obed, the father of Jesse who is the father of David. It’s mind boggling to realize that IF Ruth had not stayed with Naomi and IF she had not gleaned in the fields to find food for Naomi and her and IF she had not deliberately lain at the feet of Boaz, then the genealogy of Christ would have been different.
Well, maybe so and maybe not. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and He would’ve found a way for His plan to work. I just can’t help but ponder the importance of little Obed and the significance of the choices of his parents and grandparents.
- What if Ruth had not stayed with Naomi?
- What if Rahab hadn’t spared the lives of the Israelite spies AND asked them to spare hers?
- What if Rahab hadn’t met Salmon?
- What if Ruth hadn’t agreed to glean in Boaz’ fields?
- What if? What if? What if?
Don’t you think the ties between people are mysterious? Do these stories make you rethink some decisions? Do they make you see the significance of your choices? Do the stories of Naomi and Rahab give you hope for your future?