I don’t intend to be dogmatic about it, but may I share with you a possibly different outlook on the little book of Ruth. It is not a love story, but a redemption story. Further, I’m not even sure it is really Ruth’s story as much as it is Naomi’s (at least it is equally both; notice especially Ruth 4:15-17). In today’s chapter we see Naomi’s fall. In a time when Israel was certainly abandoning the Lord (for why else would there be a famine in the days of the judges) she and her husband did not turn to the Lord, but turned to a foreign land without authorization from God to do so. Further, while there, they compounded their sin by giving their sons foreign wives. Things did not get better in that foreign land; instead Naomi was left destitute, bereft of husband and sons. I admit that Naomi may have assessed her situation incorrectly, but I can’t help but notice what she believed had happened: “The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” I hate to leave you at this awful point today, but keep reading Monday to see amazing redemption for Naomi (and Ruth) even after this great fall.
Monday’s reading is Ruth 2-3.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, don’t think what I shared with your parents means I am any less appreciative of Ruth’s loyalty. However, please notice that it is not actually a loyalty she has to her husband (the way it is often used in weddings today). It is a loyalty to her mother-in-law. Further, the lesson we should learn from it is not even that we should have that kind of loyalty to our parents or in-laws, but really to God. That is what Ruth really demonstrates. While Naomi and her husband had left Yahweh behind to seek their better fortunes, now that Naomi’s choice has led to a wrecked life and she is returning to her homeland and her Father God, Ruth is actually declaring loyalty to the true God. That is where our loyalty needs to lie, always. Follow Yahweh God always.
Photo from Graceway Media