Book of Ruth Series - From Heartbreak to Faith - Lesson 6

Naomi “…arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread.” (Ruth 1:6)

The people of Judah had repented and humbled themselves. They called upon the Lord God of Israel and He sent rain. Once again, Bethlehem was a bountiful house of bread and the news spread even to the country of Moab.

When it finally reached Naomi’s ears, she realized all her reasons for moving to Moab were gone. Now only painful memories tied her to this place. So, in the wake of great heartbreak, Naomi chose to go home.

Donned in widow’s garb, these three, Naomi, Orpah, whose name means “fawn” and Ruth, meaning “friend”, packed up the house and began the journey to Bethlehem. However, Orpah could not finish.

She listened to Naomi’s objections and decided she was right. What Naomi described about life in Bethlehem seemed extremely difficult and lonely. Orpah felt she needed to stay with her family and friends, to worship her gods, and to find another husband. It was silly to consider Israel’s law about a sibling of the dead husband marrying her, when Naomi was so old. Why should she be husbandless for so many years waiting for a son not yet conceived, to grow to marrying age?

Even though Orpah loved her mother-in-law, moving to Bethlehem was not a good idea. Therefore, with tears dripping down her face, she kissed Naomi and then turned back.

But Ruth clung to her and cried, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

What caused Ruth’s reaction? Was her relationship with her mother estranged?

As we have no knowledge of Ruth’s past we cannot answer with certainty. Still, losing Naomi seemed worse than losing her husband or her mother.

Why had the love between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law grown stronger than blood? Why was Ruth willing to leave all and the god she worshiped to go with Naomi? Is it because even in this pagan land, Almighty God was at work drawing sensitive hearts?

God used Naomi’s faith as a witness of His goodness and love, regardless of the circumstances. Through every painful event, Naomi never doubted God. Ruth observed how He held her in sorrow and became her comfort. Even the hard shell of pain could not restrain the grace of God that oozed from Naomi’s spirit.

Evidence of God’s love in a believer's life is enticing to a non-believer and the reason both girls began the journey. But is there a deeper meaning in this scenario?

Reading the following scriptures may help you discover God’s deeper meaning and next week we’ll peel back the layers:  Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:66-69; Matthew 7:13-14; Philippians 3:13-14; Luke 9:57-62.


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