“As long as you live, you must never promote the welfare and prosperity of the Ammonites or Moabites.” -Deuteronomy 13:6

The Ammonites and Moabites weren’t just different from the people of God, they were hostile.  For generations, they intentionally refused any help or assistance, and in some ages even attacked and oppressed the Israelites.  Because of this, God issued this blanket command to His people that they were to offer no help to these enemies of the Lord.

That’s one of many reasons I find the story of Ruth so encouraging.

In this account (contained in the Biblical book that bears her name), the woman named Ruth comes to Israel with her mother-in-law, both of them widowed, destitute and alone.  There she finds a husband and a future through God’s special provision, and her story has a happy ending full of prosperity.

The twist is, Ruth was a Moabitess.

How amazing is it, that in the face of this command in Deuteronomy to “never promote the welfare and prosperity” of the system of the Moabites, the person of Ruth found grace when she sought it.

She turned away from the system of her past and her people and toward the God of Israel, and when she did, He was waiting with open arms.

Be encouraged.  Be inspired!  No matter what system or past we come from or what wrath may have come before, there is mercy and grace in the arms of Jesus for all who surrender to Him.