Ruth 1:1- 4:12
Travis Groat, Technical Arts Director
This section of scripture intrigues me greatly. It starts with the history of Naomi’s life that quickly turns bitter. Naomi seems convinced that it is God’s fault that her life is going this way. I have had a similar conversation with different people from time to time. While I cannot completely explain why bad things happen, I do find it interesting that we quickly blame God for this occurrence. Why wouldn’t we blame the effects of sin on humanity? Because that would make it our fault; it is much better to blame God. Moving on from my soapbox, the next thing we find is that Naomi makes the decision to travel back to the place that her family had moved from. I have to stop and explain something from the culture of the time period we are reading about before we move on to the rest of the story. In this time period when a son got married he built a room onto his parents’ house that he and his wife lived in. So the daughters staying with their mother-in-law in this time period after a son died is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, if there were more sons in the family that were not married they were required to marry the deceased brother’s wife. So all of that precedes this verse in which Naomi goes against social convention of the day.
This is Ruth’s reply: “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.
Wow what a declaration! But the story does not end here. She not only stayed with Naomi, but she also worked the fields to provide food. Through her faithfulness and established reputation she becomes the wife of Boaz. Here is another interesting fact: her descendants included King David and then eventually Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of the world.
Boaz was the father of Obed.
Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. (Ruth 4:21b-22)
This story almost seems unimportant, but the entire story talks about the kinsmen redeemer. Ruth’s undying devotion and steadfast character is so astounding it is brought to our attention and recorded for all history in the most important book ever. This passage screams some profound simple truths. Pay attention to the little things. Be there for family even if the family is through marriage. Be courageous in your character and be unwavering in your character.
You will never know what God will do in the future if you are not unwavering in your character today.