1 “Scream joyfully, infertile one; who has never given birth! Bust out rejoicing and bellow, one who has not been pregnant! Because the abandoned woman’s children will be more than the children of a married woman,” says Yahveh. 2 “Widen the site for your tent, and let them spread out the tent curtains of your dwelling place. No need to spare; make your tent cords long and strengthen your pegs, 3 because you will spread out right and left. And your descendant will inherit nations, and they will inhabit cities that are now desolate. 4 No need to fear, because you will not be ashamed, and no need to be confused, because you will not feel embarrassed, because you will forget the shame of your youth, and you will no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood. 5 Because your husbands are your maker, his name is Yahveh of armies; and your redeemer is the holy one of Israel, he is called the God of all of the land.
The story recorded in the book of Ruth was part of the literary heritage of Isaiah and the people of Jerusalem. Aspects of Isaiah’s message in this text reflect that story. Jerusalem felt barren like Naomi did, who lost both her husband, and her sons, the two other husbands in her family. She was left with nothing, and so encouraged her daughters-in-law to leave her and to try to find families elsewhere. But Ruth believed that Naomi’s God was not going to desert her. She held out hope and was committed to being faithful in spite of the dark circumstances all around her. Isaiah is thus challenging the Israelites to trust God the way that Moabite woman did.
LORD, give us the vision and faithfulness to trust you as Ruth did – to accept you as our redeemer.