Comparing Two Courageous Heroes

wheat_02_ruthAs a kid, I devoured the stories of Ruth and Esther. We watched the Hanna-Barbera rendition of Esther on VHS ad infinitum, and when we reenacted the story I made my sister play Haman.

These two women are the only ones to have books of the Bible named for them!

At first glance, their stories don’t seem all that similar: one was a Moabite and the other a Jew, one a widow and the other a queen, and one outside in the fields while the other remained behind the walls of a castle. Yet, their stories have two significant details in common.

  1. Both faced difficult circumstances—Ruth, as both a barren woman and a widow, joined the ranks of the poorest in the community and survived by gleaning the leftover grain left behind by the harvesters. Esther was forced to marry a power hungry lunatic noted in historical records for his temper and her people faced almost certain annihilation at the hands of an enemy.
  1. Both demonstrated great courage—Ruth showed fortitude and courage in making the best of her situation and in requesting Boaz to take on the role of a kinsman redeemer. Esther risked her life to approach the king and thereby saved the lives of the Jews.

Though other similarities exist, these particular two remind us that hardship is not a respecter of persons and that our response is not limited by our circumstances.

The rest of this week we’ll take a deeper look at Ruth’s story. Stick around!