Ruth was born in Moab, a country just across the Dead Sea from where the Jews lived. Her husband died and she decided to go back to Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had also lost her husband.

It was a brave thing to do – leaving the place of your birth – going to a place where the customs and people would be very different to what you had grown up with. But Ruth had seen something special in Naomi – her belief and trust in God. She did not want to lose this opportunity to find out more about Naomi’s faith, so went back with her to Israel. Ruth has a whole book in the Old Testament named after her and in Ruth 1:16 we read, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people shall be my people, and your God will be my God.” (New Living Translation)

Back in Israel, these two women were very poor and struggled to feed themselves. Ruth got some food by harvesting at the edges of fields after the farmers had cleared the main ground. One of the farmers, Boaz, was really kind and invited Ruth to come back to his fields whenever she wanted. He even told his helpers to drop extra bits of grain on purpose, so she could collect as much as she needed.

Boaz was very impressed with Ruth. No doubt he liked the look of her, but he also really respected the way she had cared for Naomi; making sure that she was looked after in her old age. He was so attracted to her that he married her! He also made sure that Naomi had a good home as well.

Ruth’s love for God and her affection for Naomi had led her to risk everything she had known growing up. God blessed this, and provided her with a husband and then a son, Obed. Years later Obed also had a son, Jesse, who was the father of the most famous king Israel ever had – King David! Even more exciting, over 1,000 years later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem from the same family!