Ruth demonstrates her loyalty to her family by sticking with Naomi – and God.


Naomi and Ruth are now back in Bethlehem. Theirs would have been an unusual household; two widows living alone and without a man to run the home, provide for them and protect them. They would have been vulnerable. Ruth is loyal in standing by her Mother-in-Law, and it is she who makes the first move provide for the pair of them. ‘One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” ‘ (Ruth 2:2)  But it is Naomi who takes responsibility for Ruth’s long-term welfare. ‘One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for.  ‘ (Ruth 3:1)  So begins the tale of Ruth, the young widow, finding a second husband.

And what a delightful tale it is! Set in the lawless environment of the Book of Judges we encounter the love and care of a Farmer – Boaz.

Read Ruth 1:16-22

v 16But Ruth replied, “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.

Ruth faced a really difficult choice at this point. After hesitating at first, her sister-in-law Orpah decided to return to her mother’s home in Moab. That was quite understandable; she would be returning to the security of a known home and family with the possibility of finding another husband in an area she knew. That must have made things even harder for Ruth; should she do the same and find security in the known, or join her Mother-in-Law Naomi and venture into the unknown? Her decision was emphatic; not only was she committed to standing by Naomi but she had discovered enough about Naomi’s home country and God to want to launch out with Naomi on the return journey to Bethlehem. So here were two widows, with no relatives on whom to depend, setting out on a hazardous journey with an uncertain outcome. Would Naomi be remembered in Bethlehem? Would she be welcomed back after running away from the famine-stricken town? And would the Moabite Ruth be welcomed in the Hebrew town?

You can only admire the scope of Ruth’s decision to join her Mother-in-Law.

Significantly however, she must have learned from Naomi about the God of Israel and was willing to trust God for her future. One must assume that Naomi modelled the love and compassion of God for Ruth, and so demonstrated what loving acceptance means.

Monday 10th May Daily Notes from The Hub