Ruth and Naomi
Ruth 1 (A Story of Love)
Ruth 1:5 NKJV
Ruth 1:6-7 The Message
Ruth 1:8 ESV
Ruth 1:10 NKJV
Ruth 1:11-13 (Naomi urged them to leave her)
Ruth 1:14 ESV
Ruth 1:16-17 ESV
Ruth 2:8 The Message
Ruth 4:13 ESV
Ruth 4:17 ESV
Matthew 1:2-16 (Listing the Father of)
A Story of Love Series
Love can come to us in many forms, especially when God is involved. Such was the case with Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth.
See, things didn’t turn out exactly like Naomi expected. Naomi was married to Elimelech and they lived in Bethlehem of Judah until there was a famine.
Then Elimelech heard there was food and water in Moab which was about 1800 miles away. While traveling that distance today would not be too difficult, that would have been quite a trip for Elimelech at the time. I suppose if we had been faced with a choice of a long hard trip or death by starvation, we would make the choice to pack our things and hit the road.
As a result, Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion headed to Moab. Once they got there they found food, and water which would have made the trip worthwhile.
The problem is, some time after they arrived Elimelech died leaving his widow and two sons alone. The two sons ended up marrying two women from Moab. One of the Moabites was Orpah and the other was Ruth.
Naomi was still in good standing because she had two sons to care for their aging mother. See, in those days primary care-givers were husbands, sons, or a male relative. The five of them stayed in Moab for about ten years. We learn from Ruth 1:5, “Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.”
At that point, Naomi would have had to decide what she should do. Ruth 1:6-7 says, “One day she got herself together, she and her two daughters-in-law, to leave the country of Moab and set out for home; she had heard that God had been pleased to visit his people and give them food. And so she started out from the place she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law with her, on the road back to the land of Judah.”
Naomi heard the famine in Judah was over (God visited and gave them food) so she decided to return to Judah. As they set out on their journey, We learn in Ruth 1:8, “Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.”
Naomi knew the two girls were young enough they could go back to Moab, marry, and have children. Naomi also would have known the likelihood of her marrying again was very slim. Her only chance of survival would have been to find a relative who might feed her to keep her from starving. She also would have been allowed to glean grain that the landowners left to the wayside for widows. That’s the best life she could hope for in her old age since she had no husband and no sons.
In Ruth 1:10, Naomi’s daughters-in-law “said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
Naomi knew what it meant to them. She knew she would not have sons to care for them so she urged them to leave her.
In Ruth 1:14 we are told, “Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.”
Orpah didn’t like it, but she knew Naomi was right. She would be a Moabite woman in a foreign land. She knew her prospects for finding a husband in Israel were slim.
Ruth on the other hand didn’t consider how bad it would be. In Ruth 1:16-17 she said, “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Ruth refused because of love.
Ruth refused because of love for Naomi.
So, on to Bethlehem they went.
I would like to be able to tell you that things for Ruth and Naomi were easy in Bethlehem and they found an easy way to solve their problems. What I can tell you is that God had a plan.
We learn in Ruth 2 that when they got to Bethlehem, Naomi heard a wealthy relative of her late husband, Elimelech was farming a field there. The relative’s name was Boaz. Ruth asked his workers if she could glean and gather sheaves that fell behind.
Boaz had heard that the widow of his relative and her daughter-in-law were back from Moab and in Ruth 2:8 he said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.”
Ruth did as he asked and she was very grateful. Boaz explained that he had heard of her care and love for her mother-in-law. That night, Ruth took the grain she had harvested to Naomi and told her the relative of Elimelech was very good to her. Naomi gave Ruth clear instructions what to do next in Ruth 3.
Boaz was so impressed with Ruth and her love and care for Naomi that by Ruth 4 he sought to redeem Ruth to make her his wife. In Ruth 4:13, “Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.”
We are told in Ruth 4:17, “And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.”
Ruth and Boaz’ son Obed’s was the grandfather of King David of Israel. We know from Matthew 1:2-16 that Boaz was the father of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, the father of Solomon, the father of Rehoboam, the father of Abidjan, the father of Asaph, the father of Jehoshaphat, the father of Jorah, the father of Uriah, the father of Jotham, the father of Ahvaz, the father of Hezekiah, the father of Manasseh, the father of Amos, the father of Josiah, the father of Jechoniah, the father of Shealtiel, the father of Zerubbabel, the father of Abuid, the father of Eliakim, the father of Azor, the father of Zadok, the father of Achim, the father of Eluid, the father of Eleanor, the father of Matthau, the father of Jacob, the father of Joseph the husband of Mary who bore Jesus. Both Mary and her husband Joseph were from the tribe of Judah.
God blessed Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi’s love with the birth of son and grandson, Obed.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Trust
As you face an issue today, tell God your concern and trust God to solve it.
In God, Deborah