This is a mercy blog, people keep reminding me.  They say that wondering what mottos on money and stories about education and college tuition have to do with mercy and partnerships and mission and someday when I have time I will try and explain all that.  Right now is the commemoration of Ruth.  For those of you who don’t know there is a book in the Old Testament Bible named “Ruth”, and the story of Ruth.  The name Ruth after all kinds of accretions and historical accumulations from back in the day might best be translated as “compassionate friend”.  A merciful friend and a gracious friend was Ruth and there is a lot of grace and mercy in this little book.  We commemorate her because “Ruth’s kindness and selfless loyalty toward Naomi, and her faith in Naomi’s God, have long endeared her to the faithful and redounded to God’s praise for his merciful choice of one so unexpected.”

“This short book, “the idyl of David’s great-grandmother,” tells the charming story of Ruth the Moabitess, who lived in the days when the Judges ruled in Israel, a more exact fixing of the time being almost impossible. “One of the sweetest stories in the Bible, showing that even in the blackest period God has men and women who love and serve Him. In Boaz we have the model rich man of his age; every act and word shows his deep faith in God. In Ruth we have an example of modesty and patience, coupled with a remarkable belief in the true God. In Naomi we have a specimen of a good woman, whose religion shows itself in fidelity to all her duties.” (Sell.) “One chief purpose of the book seems to be the tracing of the genealogy of David to the Moabitess Ruth, whose name it bears.” (Robertson.) “This information gains in significance if we remember that the genealogy of David is at the same time that of Jesus Christ. The story therefore goes to show how Ruth the Moabitess, by birth an alien to Israel, was chosen to become an ancestress of the Savior. Her reception into the communion of Israel also testified to the fact that even in the days before Christ Gentiles might be admitted to the kingdom of God if only they received the promises of the covenant in true faith. – As the genealogy here recorded ends with David’s name, it is improbable that the book should have been written before David had become a person of influence and renown among the people of the covenant. We find an additional reason for this assumption in chap. 4, 7, where the author explains a peculiar custom, which had fallen into disuse in his days. – The author remains unknown to us; but it has been suggested that David himself might well have penned this account of a significant episode in his family history,” and the record concerning Christ’s ancestors was thus completed.” From Dr. Paul Kretzmann’s 4 Volume Commentary on the Bible