The book of Ruth is one of the most loved stories of the Old Testament. Yet sometimes it remains just that: a story from which some readers gain little in the way of doctrine or application. We identify with the story because the principal actors are neither kings nor prophets but the average people of a typical village. There are neither mighty warriors nor great conflicts, but there are intense struggles for surviving life's difficulties and genuine battles with grief. We love the story because it is so well told, because it has characters we can identify with, because it weaves a plot we can relate to that has a wonderful resolution. Yet we often do not recognize a deeper symbolism in the text.