Day Seven - Ruth 1:1-13

Day 7 - Ruth 1:1-13

The book of Ruth is primarily told through Naomi’s perspective, the widow who lost not only her husband but also her only two children, her sons. However, Ruth becomes a critical part of Naomi’s story, and her love is stunning. Today, though, our focus is on the great losses Naomi experienced. First of all, Naomi lost her country. As we see Ukrainians leaving their war-torn land today and grieve at all they have lost, we get a bit of an idea what it was like for Naomi when she and her husband and two sons walked away from Bethlehem. They must have been desperate to leave family and farmland behind! Was Naomi in agreement with her husband? The Bible does not say. Whether she was or not, it had to be a scary and lonely time to lose family and friends and familiarity. That loss alone was huge.

However, it gets worse. Naomi’s husband dies. Her two sons marry, but neither marriage produces children. The sons would have provided for their mother as was their duty, as well as their wives but then they die as well. I wonder if they died in some sort of accident together, or if there was a space between their deaths? Oh, I hope I get to sit down with Ruth and Naomi in heaven and hear some of these details! In any case, Naomi is now bereft.

Can you imagine losing your entire nuclear family? While living in a strange land? My Charles Swindoll Study Bible tells me that Naomi is often referred to as the “female Job.” She lost quite literally almost everything. As she lived in a time and culture where women could not simply go out and get a job, she also lost any means of income. So, she decides to take what little money she has and set out for home. She’s going to go back to Bethlehem. If she has to die, she wants to die there. But that of course meant another loss for our Naomi. Her husband and sons were buried in Moab. So she had to leave their graves and her Moabite home behind.

I love that Naomi, despite her deep loss and grief, was still kind. Did you notice her sweet words to her sons’ wives? “May the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and me” she says. She was a woman of encouragement and affirmation. She cast no blame on the two daughters-in-law. Instead she noted their kindness and faithfulness. She also was still on talking terms with God. She asked the LORD to reward them, even though in her own life she pretty much was devastated and saw no such “reward” from Him. Still she believed. Still she trusted that God could do good for these dear wives. WOW. That’s a woman of faith.

I also love that Naomi is truthful about her grief and bitter sorrow. She’s blunt. She says that “the LORD himself has raised his fist” against her. Now, we can quibble about that. God doesn’t cause evil, but He does not always prevent it either. So, did He literally raise His fist? Or did He allow what often happens in a broken world? Death and poverty and loss? Naomi knows that He is Sovereign and He let it happen. That’s for sure. And she’s not happy about that. But she still believes in Him even then. Oh, the life lessons we can learn from this beautiful woman!

What verse did you choose, today? How did God speak to you through this tragic story? Are you eager to read more? I am!

My verse: Ruth 1:8 “But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, ‘Go back to your mother’s homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me.”

My response: Even in her deep sorrow, Naomi spoke words of grace to these young women. Even in her grief, Lord, she was till speaking to You, asking You for a reward and blessing on them. What a kind soul she must have been!

 

2 Responses to “Day Seven - Ruth 1:1-13”

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  1. Candie Remick says:

    My verse is 9 in NLT.
    May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.
    Then she kissed them good-bye and they all broke down and wept.

    What respect and love there must have been between Naomi and
    her daughters-in-law. Though the three of them were now
    widows, Naomi still wanted the best for Orpah and Ruth.
    She wanted them to have the opportunity to remarry and
    be happy again.

    Father God, thank you for families who love, care
    for each other and want the best for each other.
    In Jesus ' name. Amen

    • Sharon Gamble says:

      I am so impressed with Naomi, too. SO much caring in the midst of her deep, deep grief. I want to be more like her - looking at others' needs even when my own run deep.

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