Read – Ruth 2
Focus on verse 10
Racial discrimination has once again become a hot button topic in politics and the media. Racial discrimination is never a good thing, so it is a step in the right direction to be talking about it. What makes it more complicated is when the media paints nearly everything that happens with a racial slant, which not only cause people to become immune to the issue, but causes the legitimate cases of it to lose credibility.
In today’s reading we catch a glimpse of how discrimination affects those who grow up on the receiving end of it. Ruth is a Moabite by birth, who married into an Israelite family. The text does not give us a lot fo background information regarding what it was like in Moab other than that Naomi’s husband and both sons apparently lost their lives prematurely leaving her and two daughter-in-laws destitute. When Naomi chooses to migrate back to Israel where she has blood relatives, Ruth insists on going with her. When they arrive in Israel it is now Ruth who finds herself to be a foreigner, and it becomes apparent in here conversation with Boaz that she feels inferior for some reason.
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (v. 10)
In Ruth’s response to Boaz it seems that Ruth is overly conscious of her status as Moabite while Boaz does not seem overly concerned with it.
When people make judgments upon other people based upon nationality presuming themselves to be superior it is what we call racial discrimination. This discrimination can also affect the race that is considered inferior as it seems to have affected Ruth. This complicates crossing racial boundaries further as it fosters an acceptance of the discrimination from both sides.
Overcoming discrimination is not typically achieved by elevating the oppressed nor by punishing the oppressors. This in fact usually just makes matters worse. Overcoming discrimination is better achieved when we foster the understanding that all humans are equally worthy of love an acceptance simply because we are human. When we genuinely love all people and treat all people with equity and justice, it follows then that the best evidence that discrimination is absent is not by drawing attention to the fact that one is crossing racial boundaries but rather that the boundaries have become invisible to where they are rarely acknowledged at all.