The story of Naomi and Ruth
The Book of Ruth
The story of Naomi and Ruth is one of the most heart-rending stories in the Scripture. We see real faith struggles, tragedies, sadness, despair, hopelessness, exasperation, bitterness, and self-pity. Also in their story, you will see loyalty, love, redemption, faithfulness, attachment, joy, connections, kindness, generosity, and redemption. We’ve all gone through the same, if not similar faith and emotional struggles before and we hope to learn how God helps us in our tragic experiences.
1. God turned tragedies into spiritual blessing.
“3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.” Ruth 1:3-5.
· The tragedy of not being able to continue the family line made Naomi bitter about her life. See Ruth 1:20.
· As the famine eased in Judah, Naomi decided to leave Moab and return to her homeland.
· She tried to convince her two daughters-in-law, Orpha and Ruth to return to Moab and remarry in their own homeland.
· Converted to faith in Yahweh, Ruth decided to stay with Naomi. See Ruth 1:16.
· Ruth decided to embrace Naomi’s culture and religious practices. See Ruth 1:17.
· God used their shared tragedies to bring Ruth to faith in Him.
2. God rebuilds their lives.
“Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field, and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.” Ruth 2:1-3.
· After Naomi’s 10-year living abroad, she and Ruth needed to relearn the basics of Judean life.
· It was harvest time when they arrived in Bethlehem.
· Ruth providentially entered a community plot, and went to the field of Boaz, a close relative of her father-in-law, Elimelek.
· Boaz, a God-fearing and wealthy relative showed kindness, hospitality to foreigners, grace, and mercy to Ruth.
· To help rebuild Naomi and Ruth’s life, Boaz provided for them.
3. God planned their destiny.
“5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” 6 At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” Ruth 4:5-6.
· Under God’s law, the guardian-redeemer (a male next of kin) shall be given the responsibility to rescue the property of a relative, and/or marry a childless widow and raise children in the name of the dead husband. In this way, Israel is rescued, preserved, and perpetuated. See Lev. 25:47-55; 27:9-25.
· Boaz married Ruth and bore her a son named Obed, David’s future grandfather.
· God destined Naomi and Ruth to be the ancestors of Israel’s great kings, David and Solomon.
· But even greater than David and Solomon, comes Jesus.
· God removed the curse on Moab through Ruth and opened the door wider for the gentiles to enter to faith in Yahweh.
We are all like Naomi and Ruth, as we need rescuing from the Lord. Jesus is our kinsman Redeemer. Jesus redeemed us through his finished work on the cross. Romans 10:13, “13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”