Your God My God
Ruth 1:4 (Mahlon and Chilion marry Orpah and Ruth)
Ruth 1:5 (Naomi’s sons died)
Ruth 1:6-7 (Naomi heard there was food in Judah and she prepared to return to Judah)
Ruth 1:8-14 (Naomi urges Orpah and Ruth to return to their families in Moab)
Ruth 1:15 (Orpah returned home but Ruth refused to leave Naomi)
Ruth 1:16-18 ESV
Ruth 2 (Ruth and Naomi in Bethlehem)
Ruth 3 (Ruth shows interest in Boaz)
Ruth 4:1-16 (Boaz redeems Ruth and marries her)
Ruth 4:17 ESV
I have long thought that Ruth is one of the great faith stories in Scripture. The decisions Ruth made did not make and sense at the time she lived. She was living in a time and place where she had a very few choices and prospects for her future.
Still, without any promise for a future she made bold decisions.
In Ruth 1 we are told that because there was a famine in the land of Bethlehem of Judah, a man Elimelech traveled to Moab with his wife Naomi and his two sons Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites.
While they were in Moab Elimelech, husband of Naomi died. Naomi’s two sons Mahlon and Chilion both married women from Moab. The two women were Orpah and Ruth. They lived in Moab around 10 years (Ruth 1:4). I find it interesting that during that ten year timespan, neither Orpah or Ruth bore a child.
After that period of time Naomi’s two sons died, leaving Naomi with her two son’s wives who were women from Moab (Ruth 1:5). Then Naomi heard there was once again food in Judah and Naomi decided to return to her homeland (Ruth 1:6-7).
Since Orpah and Ruth had not conceived and bore children and Naomi’s sons had died, she had no heir.
Both Orpah and Ruth decided they would go to Bethlehem in Judah but Naomi urged them to remain with their people in Moab. Both women told Naomi they wanted to stay with her, but Naomi didn’t relent. Orpah eventually agreed to return to her family in Moab for Naomi reminded them she (Naomi) was too old to bear sons who might marry them as that was the custom (Ruth 1:8-14).
Even though Orpah listened to Naomi and returned to her childhood home, Ruth continued to cling to Naomi. Ruth refused to leave Naomi (Ruth 1:15).
In Ruth 1:16-18, “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.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.”
We are not told why Ruth refused to return to her family of origin. By staying with Naomi it appeared that she had few prospects for a future. She would also have known that if she went to Judah with Naomi she would be a stranger in a land she knew nothing about. Despite the fact that even though Ruth’s prospects were slim, she refused to leave her mother-in-law Naomi. We do know that Ruth spoke of the Lord God of Israel.
Ruth even agreed that she would accept Naomi’s people as her people.
Ruth had agreed to make Naomi’s God her God.
Sight unseen, even with no vision or word from God, Ruth agreed to go to Judah even though she did not know what her future held.
She was a woman of faith.
Once Ruth and Naomi were back in Bethlehem, Ruth went to a field belonging to Boaz who was a relative of her late husband’s father. Boaz noticed her and when he found out she was a widow of a relative of his, he told her to only glean in his field. At that time, men allowed women without a husband to pick up ears of grain that were left over. Boaz even told his men to make sure they will not go near her and to let her have extra. She was also allowed to drink from his vessels when she was thirsty. Boaz told Ruth he knew about the kindness she had shown to the wife of Elimelech his relative and that God would repay her kindness. When Ruth took the grain she had harvested back to Naomi, She knew of Boaz and she told Ruth he was a redeemer of theirs (Ruth 2).
As time passed, Ruth showed interest in Boaz (Ruth 3) and he sought to redeem her. Once Boaz did redeem Ruth, they were married and she bore him a son (Ruth 4:1-16).
We learn 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.”
And so Obed, son of Boaz and Ruth and Grandson to Naomi was the father of Jesse, the father of David, in the line of Jesus.
Ruth of Moab believed and she made Naomi’s God her God.
And God greatly blessed her!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Trust God
Whatever you are struggling with, give it to God and trust God. You will be blessed!
In God, Deborah.