I recently studied the book of Ruth again after reading ‘Unshaken’ on of the novellas in Francine Rivers Books called ‘Lineage of Grace’. If you are a fiction enthusiast and desire to encounter God while enjoying your leisure, then I strongly recommend Francine Rivers to you.
Reading the novel and studying the book of Ruth as sequel was a great exposition for me and I will like to share with you lessons I learnt from it.
God does not record anything in the bible that does not have eternal significance and the book of Ruth is one of such chapters in the bible to learn wisdom from and treasure.
A Quick Synopsis of the Book of Ruth (*Just to refresh your mind*)
Long ago, Elimelech a man of Bethlehem, Judah, relocated from his country to dwell in the country of Moab alongside his wife Naomi and two young sons, Mahlon and Chilion as a result of severe recession.
The family got well integrated among the Moabites and their sons having come of age took two Moabites ladies, Ruth and Orpah as wives as a sign that they have really assimilated into the cultures of these foreigners.
Not long after then, Elimelech died leaving Naomi widowed. As though that was not enough, Mahlon and Chilion also passed on.
It was quite a bitter juice for Naomi because her diseased sons were yet to have children which therefore implied an extinction of their ancestral name.
It was apparent that Naomi never felt at home with these Moabites who bowed to strange gods. I am very sure she felt misplaced as her decision to go back ‘home’ speaks volume of her inner war. Well she did go home.
Naomi packed up her sparse belonging and told her dear young daughter in-laws that she was relocating back to Bethlehem, Judah, the place called home. Of course they protested and insisted on going with her. Naomi knew they were in for a joke.
Anyway she made for her journey and her two young adopted daughters wept, tagging along. Naomi knew the child’s play had to stop, she gave a hard tender look at them and spoke objectively entreating them to go back to their families as there is no good relocating with her because they are young and full of life and still stood a chance of remarrying.
Orpah saw reasons with her, wept some more, kissed her goodbye and went back to her people but Ruth clung to Naomi.
Naomi switched to her critical reasoning skills and gave valid reasoning backed by evidence why Ruth should go back to her people. “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to their gods; return after your sister-in-law” Naomi argued.
“Entreat me not to leave you or to turn back from following after you” Ruth rebuffed.
Naomi argued some more trying to make her see reasons why she can’t continue to follow her. Weeping some more and clinging tighter to her, Ruth said;
“for wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge”.
Could this girl be saying these things out of emotions Naomi wondered at Ruth.
Persuading her some more to return home, Naomi made her understand that the God that her people serve differ from the gods of the Moabites and she might not be able cope with His standards but insistent Ruth answered her;
“And your God, my God”.
About to exhaust all her well thought out arguments, Naomi tried this last one, perhaps, Ruth might come to her senses knowing that she is old and might die anytime and Ruth will be left stranded in a foreign land with no relative to fall back on;
“where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part you and me”
determined Ruth answered unflinching, looking intently into her mother-in-law eye with all plea. That is it then!
…I guess you know the end of this great story!
I will be sharing with you lessons I learnt from this great bible characters in subsequent posts.
Please stick around!