We picked up our journey through the Bible in the book of Ruth. Ruth is a really short book, only 4 chapters but there is a lot to it.
Starting off in Chapter 1 Naomi and her husband Elimelech choose to leave their homeland (Bethlehem) and go to Moab due to famine. They had two sons who married Ruth and Orpah, both were Moabites. All three of these men died in Moab leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah widowed.
On Top of them being widowed woman in these times, would have many social struggles. Woman needed me to care for them, and support them. Naomi decided to return to her homeland and told that Ruth and Orpah had no responsibility to her and could say in Moab. Orpah stayed in Moab, which was home to her, and had better chances to finding a husband.
Ruth and Naomi journeyed to Bethlehem where Naomi was from. This was during the barley harvest, so they went to take some grain left behind from the pickers in Boaz’s field. Boaz was a distant relative to Elimelech. They ended up at this field by coincidence. It may seem odd to go to a field to pick it over for grain, but it was a practice to leave some behind as they harvested for those who needed it.
Ruth and Boaz ended up getting married after Naomi told her to go lay at his feet one night. Boaz was a very caring individual who took great care of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth and Boaz had a son, whom they gave to Naomi. This allowed Naomi’s family name to live on. Oped was part of Jesus’ Lineage.
Questions to Ponder:
- Does the story of Naomi and Elimelech leaving their homeland sound familiar to current day?
- How would you feel having to leave your homeland?
- Do you align more with Orpah or Ruth in their decision to stay or go? Why?
- How do we include outsiders well?