I have always loved the story of Ruth. To me, it is a great story of how God doesn’t harbor any prejudices. No matter where we have come from, no matter our background or family history, no matter our past life’s experience and choices, God’s arms are always open to us. He is eager and ready to receive us, and He is always working to woo us back to Him.
Ruth is a wonderful example of this. She was a Moabite woman, and in the eyes of Old Testament Israel, that wasn’t a good thing. The Moabites were enemies of the Israelites; they were considered a heathen nation. They worshiped false gods, and they were forbidden to enter the assembly of the Lord. In fact, even their descendants were forbidden to enter the assembly of the Lord. Obviously, the Lord was trying to protect Israel from bad influences that could come from the Moabites.
However, though she was a Moabite woman, Ruth’s heart had apparently been moved by the Spirit of the Lord. And when her mother-in-law decided to return to her homeland in Israel, Ruth was determined to go with her. She would leave everything she knew—her land, her people, her language, her customs, and her gods—and go with Naomi to a new land with a God she had come to know as the true God.
And what was God’s response to this? To forbid Ruth’s entrance into Israel? To deny her wish to serve Him because she had been born a Moabite? Hardly. In fact, this woman who wasn’t allowed to enter the assembly of the Lord became a direct ancestor of God Himself and one of only three women to be listed in the genealogy of Jesus. Because her heart was open to God’s leading, she was blessed with a position of honor given to very few women in the history of the entire human race.
You see, God has no prejudices. He holds no grudges. He knows His people—those whose hearts are open to Him—wherever they are found. He doesn’t care where we have come from; He only cares where we are headed. And if we’re headed in His direction, we can be sure that His arms are always open!