Have any of you really looked at the Book of Ruth or as in Hebrew it is called the Megilot Rut (Scroll of Ruth). The name of Ruth means friend and she was a true friend and daughter in law to Naomi whose name means pleasant.
The book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges and if we look at the book of Judges it tells us that during the time of the Judges Israel had no King and that the people did what they thought was right. In other words a law unto themselves. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was only called on and worshipped when things were not going well. We see that there was a famine in the land. In Hebrew the word for famine is 'raav' and this is far more than just no food, it is a lack of morality and disobedience to God. We do not read of no rain at the time but that the Midianites and even the Philistines kept attacking and taking the food from the Israelites.
A man by the name of Elimelech, (my God is King) his wife Naomi (pleasant) and two sons Machlon(sickly) and Kilyon(consumption) left Bethlehem (House of Bread) in Judea and went to Moab to get away from the famine. They had hardly arrived when Elimelech dies. I understand from the ancient writing that it was believed that no Israelite was to leave the land of Israel unless one seah of flour cost the price of 7 seah as well as there being no food to buy. So Elimelech was disobedient to God and does not seem to trust or turn to God. Elimelech's two sons take wives for themselves from the Moabite women. We are not told anywhere in scripture that this was forbidden but in Deuteronomy 2:4-5 we can see that no Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord for 10 generations. The wives names were Oprah and Ruth. Both men die after they had lived there for 10 years and so Naomi who now has no grandchildren decides to leave Moab and go back to Bethlehem in Judea where she has heard that there is now enough food.
Naomi leaves and both Oprah and Ruth leave with her but she then tells them to go back to their own mothers house. They both refuse at first but when Naomi says that she is to old to have any more children and so she could not give them a husband. Even if she had a son or sons would they wait until these sons were old enough to marry them. Bitterness has crept in and she tells them that she is bitter and that the Lord is against her. Oprah leaves as she has Moab in her blood but Ruth stays with Naomi. We now have one of the most amazing speeches by a women in the bible. Ruth goes on to say don't insult me by telling me to leave you as your people are my people and your God is my God. Finally she says “May the Lord bring terrible curses on me and worse ones as well if anything but death separates you and me.” In other words Ruth has found her identity in Israel and wants to become part of Israel. Ruth had married into the people of Israel. Ruth has crossed over and become and Israelite. She would learn everything she needed to know about the customs and traditions as well as how to pray from her mother-in-law.
In Chapters 2, 3 and 4 we see the victory that Ruth and Naomi have. Ruth is submissive, obedient and a modest woman who does everything her mother-in-law tells her to do. She is also hard working and due to this, redemption comes to her through grace. Ruth only speaks when spoken to. She finds her kinsman redeemer due to being obedient to Naomi. God uses Ruth and she becomes the mother of Obed who is the grandfather of King David. Ruth is the 2nd Gentile who God places in the family tree of our Messiah. Why because he loves all people and if obedient will use whom he wants to use. Are we like Ruth obedient to the word of God. Listening and following his ways.
Until next time have a blessed time.