The Story Of Ruth And Naomi And Lessons
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ruth Chapter 1-4; Isaiah 55:8; Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
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The story of Ruth and Naomi is a unique story being the fact that there are only two female books in the bible which the book of Ruth was part of because male is given more preferences then. Ruth is also one of the few women who are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus found in the book of Matthew. The book of Ruth with four chapters started with Naomi and her husband, Elimelech who left their country, Judah to Moab because of famine with their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion due to famine and went to Moab to live. The husband died and Naomi became a widow and, and the two sons also married daughters of Moab but none of the wives gave birth to children and in the period of ten years also died in the land. Naomi was left alone with two daughters-in-law called Ruth and Orpah and she wasn’t happy with the situation she met herself. She heard that there was no more famine in Judah and decided to head back home, she told her daughters-in-law about her decision and asked them to go back to their family. Though initially, they don’t want to leave her but later, Orpah bade her goodbye and left. Ruth insisted on continuing with her to Judah and after Naomi realized that she was determined to follow her, she allowed her to go with her to Judah.
When Naomi returned home to Judah and people were welcoming her, she wasn’t happy and told people to desist from calling her Naomi but Mara because she went away full and came back home empty. Naomi and Ruth began to live together in Bethlehem, and it was during the beginning of the harvest of barley that they returned. When Ruth wanted to go to the field to glean some corn, she told her mother-in-law about it, and she told her to go. Ruth’s step was directed to Boaz’s field, one of the kinsmen of Elimelech and while she was gleaning, Boaz saw her and inquired about her from his servants and then he learnt of who Ruth was, he admonished Ruth not to go to another field but Ruth asked him why he was showing her so much kindness and Boaz responded that he learnt of how she abandoned all to follow her mother-in-law to a strange land. Boaz did so much for her and allowed her to eat bread and dip morsel in vinegar with his servants. He instructed the servants to leave some grain for her to pick too. When Ruth came home, Naomi asked her where she went to glean and after she explained everything to her, Naomi blessed God. Naomi instructed Ruth on what to do, Ruth obeyed Naomi and at the end of the story, Ruth was redeemed by Boaz, and she began his wife, Ruth became pregnant and gave birth to a son called Obed, who is the father of Jesse, the father of David, the direct family line of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Naomi’s joy was restored again through the actions and obedience of her daughter-in-law, Ruth. The story of Ruth and Naomi is filled with lots of lessons and in this article, some of the lessons will be learned.
- SEEK GOD BEFORE MOVING: Ruth 1:1-2
Naomi and Elimelech looked at the situation around them and moved to a strange land without seeking God’s approval. They moved from God’s protection to a land worshipping idol. This singular action negated their lives and at the end, Naomi suffered the most because she lost both her husband and two sons without any grandchildren from the sons after they married before they eventually died. As Christians, not all good things or ventures are edible or profitable. We should learn to seek God in all decisions, some decisions can mar our lives forever and we might not be lucky to be redeemed again like Naomi was redeemed and restored after she went back to her land. We should learn to commit all our ways and decisions to God and wait to hear from him as a believer before you take actions.
2. NO MATTER THE SITUATION, WE SHOULD BE HOPEFUL
Naomi was in a helpless situation; she knew that she couldn’t have a husband or give birth to children again. That was why she told her daughters-in-law to leave her alone, but she has forgotten that only God knows the beginning from the end. Even when she returned home and she told the people to change her name to Mara which was bitterness, she didn’t know that God has her best interest at heart. God used Ruth to brighten up her life again from the bitterness and darkness surrounding her life. God gave her beauty for her ashes and redeemed her lost. God gave her hope again and as a believer, no matter the situation, God is still ready to bring something good out of it. Don’t give-up or lose hope in the redeeming and restoring power of God. God is still in the business of changing things around to give us a brighter and better future we can ever imagine.
3. BE COMMITTED and OBEDIENT: Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth learned to be unselfish with her decision and learnt to be committed to her mother-in-law and the new true God that was introduced to her when she got married to the son of Naomi. She knew she would fall back to worshipping idols if she stayed back at her hometown. She didn’t want to backslide and knew by following and staying true to Naomi is what to do to achieve that. Ruth was committed to God and obedient to Naomi’s instructions. God showed Himself in the step of Ruth because He ordered her step to Boaz’s field and from there, her life changed in a good way and gave her a brighter future. She was given the privilege to be the great-great-grandmother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we should be true to our faith in God, we should be committed to faithfully serving God and walking in all His ways and obeying all His commandment and that only is the way to brighter future and glorious everlasting life.
4. HARD WORK PAYS: Ruth 2:2
Ruth didn’t get to a strange land and starting misbehaving or being idle. She gets back to work in order to bring food for her mother-in-law. She was hardworking and God honored her work and directed her step to the right field even when she was a stranger in the land and knew nobody. After the long run, her hardworking spirit paid off because this led her to her new husband, and she was fruitful too. As believers, no matter where we find ourselves, we should always be hardworking and diligent in all we do. We shouldn’t encourage idleness but be busy for the Lord always.
5. HAVE A GOOD CHARACTER: Ruth 2:11; 3:10-11
Ruth has a good character even when she was in a strange land, and she didn’t even know people were looking at her. She went above and beyond in the way she honored and respected her mother-in-law, and in doing so became known in the entire city as a virtuous woman. She worked hard to provide food for her and her mother-in-law. Everything that she did showed her character, and because of that character, she was honored by God. As believers, we should be men and women of good character and integrity.
6. IT SHOWS THE REDEEMING POWER OF JESUS CHRIST
Just like Boaz called the elders of the city in order to redeem all the properties of Elimelech thereby redeeming Ruth, this also shows that Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem us from eternal destruction. Just as Boaz was like a redeemer of Ruth, Jesus Christ is the redeemer of mankind, and He has power to save from all manners of sins. As Christians, we should never doubt the redeeming power of Jesus Christ to save us from all sins. We should come to Jesus Christ boldly to receive from Him, and He will surely do our heart desires if we waver not.
Ruth and Naomi’s story reminds us that no matter what lies in our past, and no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, a little bit of faith makes a huge difference. God can change the situation around to give us a better future. We shouldn’t give up hope no matter the obscurity that might be surrounding us as believers but believing that God can find a way to use the more unlikely situation or people in ways that we could never have imagined.