(The story “Boaz’ Field” continues, in which three shepherds are speculating that the field in which they are watching their sheep once belonged to Boaz.)
The second shepherd, having mentioned the difficulties faced by Ruth as a foreigner in Israel, now said, “And I think Naomi knew what Ruth was in for. When Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, her Moabite daughters-in-law set out with her. But Naomi told them not to follow her. ‘It would be best,’ she said, ‘if you go back to the homes in which you were raised.’ One did so. But not Ruth. She insisted on going with her mother-in-law, saying, ‘I will go where you go, live where you live, die where you were die.’ And so it was that she came to Israel. Even in the face of so many who despised her.”
The third shepherd added, “She ignored all the put-downs. She worked hard, and won the heart of Boaz. They were married, and she gave birth to a son. They named him Obed. He had a son named Jesse. And Jesse had a son named David. And David became Israel’s greatest and most beloved king. Just think! A king of Israel with a Moabite great-grandmother!”
“Ha!” said the first shepherd, ‟that must stick in the craw of those who keep yapping about a pure Israelite race! These purists keep saying that Israelite blood is purer than other blood. And more, they say, among Israelites themselves there is blood that is pure–and some not so pure.”
(The story “Boaz’ Field” continues tomorrow.)
God of all peoples, prevent us from thinking we are more important than others. Amen.