The past couple weeks have been spent on Ruth in Bible Study. I am finding it difficult to finish the novella as I am deeply identifying with Naomi, Ruth and Orpah right now. Naomi and her daughters-in-law all lost their husbands. A little background is needed to better understand…
1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, 5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. ~ Ruth 1:1-5
Ruth, a Moabite woman, longed to learn more about the God of her husband’s family. In my personal life, I have been longing to hear from God. I am learning to trust in Him and His plan for my life more than ever before. To trust someone, anyone, is an extremely difficult thing for me as I lost trust many years ago in mankind.
I have read the Book of Ruth in the Bible several times in recent months and a handful more over my entire life. I love the strength, courage, and faith she shows in all aspects of her life. I love how she perseveres in the worst of times and encourages her mother-in-law to continue on as well. I have been told by a few people since my father’s passing how inspired they are by the strength I have held. What they don’t know is that I have cried myself to sleep many nights and while it’s less and less, the hurt of his loss is deep.
After the loss of her husband and sons, Naomi decided she wanted to return to her homeland: Bethlehem. Ruth went with her; Orpah went back to Moab. These two women were bound to one another for a lifetime not just through marriage and death, but to sense of duty and kinship. Ruth went on to remarry and had child(ren) who were ancestors to Jesus Christ.
I can only hope to live half the life Ruth led in her time.