The most important verse in the ‘Parable of the Prodigal Son’ is verse 20. ‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.’ There are five words of action in this verse: 1. saw 2. filled with compassion 3. ran 4. threw his arms around him 5. kissed him. The father didn’t say a word, but he did all these. May the Lord help us bring out our love through the example in this parable.
The Book of Ruth records the story of how a Moabite, originally an outcast according to God’s Law, entered God’s kingdom. It is stated in Deuteronomy 23:3 “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation.” Ruth used to worship the gods of the Moabites, but she turned away from the gods of the Moabites to worship the one and only True Living God. This is the greatest reason for Ruth’s blessings. However, just because God blesses a person doesn’t mean he or she no longer has responsibilities. Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz experienced wonderful blessings because they did their best to fulfill their own responsibilities in the face of God’s grace.
The Israelites have a provision that if a married man dies without a son, the nearest kin must marry his wife and bear children with her. The first child will be the heir of the man who died, and carry his name. Naomi’s husband Elimelech had died, her two sons Kihlion and Mahlion had also died. This clan was about to be forgotten. Elimelech’s nearest kin must marry Naomi and give Elimelech descendants. But then, Naomi was already old, she was no longer able to bear children. So, Elimelech’s kin must marry Ruth. This was the reason Ruth went to Boaz on this night. I called this night “A Sacred Night,” because the three characters, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz acted in purity — they made this night of darkness shine with purity.
Let us consider Ruth, the Moabite, from chapter 2 of the Book of Ruth. I describe her as a woman of virtue because in chapter 3:11, Boaz said of her, “All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.”