Book of Ruth, Part 1 (chapters 1 & 2)

Ruth 1:1-5 – Naomi Emptied
Ruth 1:6-18 – Ruth Clings to Naomi
Ruth 1:19-22 – Ruth and Naomi Return to Bethlehem
Ruth 2:1-7 – Ruth Begins Work
Ruth 2:8-16 – Boaz Shows Kindness to Ruth
Ruth 2:17-23 – Ruth Returns to Naomi

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Book of Ruth, Part 1 (chapters 1 & 2)”

  1. The short book of Ruth, one of the five women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:5),  provides a good story with a happy ending, but there’s much more to it than just that. One key insight I get from the timing and placement of this book is that there is still hope amid the backsliding Israelites. The book of Judges provides a grim picture of the Israelites wander away spiritually, but Ruth gives us a story of one family that remains faithful. It happens to be Valentine’s Day when I’m reading this book…how appropriate to be reminded of the importance of relationships and love, all part of God’s amazing and intricate design.

    The book is a story of Naomi’s transformation from despair to happiness though the selfless, God-blessed acts of Ruth and Boaz. Naomi moves from emptiness to fullness, from destitution to security and hope. NIV Study Bible, p.392

    To set the stage, the story begins, “in the days when the judges ruled” (Ruth 1:1), Naomi’s husband and two sons relocate to Moab to escape the famine, to survive. The sons married women from the area, but the husband and sons died in the ten years they were there, thus Naomi was a widow with two daughters-in-law who were also widows. Remember that it was the Moabites who corrupted the Israelites given the advice of Balaam long ago at this point, but not forgotten (see Numbers 25).

    Hearing that the famine was ending, Naomi decides to return home, so she blesses her daughters-in-law: “May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband” (Ruth 1:8-9). (Note to self: “your dead husbands” must be an odd interpretation of the original Hebrew since the story is quite elegant and poetic. The term seems out of place, but it’s not the focus, so I’ll try not to be too distracted.)

    Orpah returns to her people, but Ruth clings to Naomi,

    “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16)

    So Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning (1:22). End of Act I.

    Act II. Boaz, a relative-in-law of Naomi, i.e., her husband’s side, enters the scene.  Since it was their law to leave scrapes of grain in the fields for widows and others in need to glean, Naomi sought to find Boaz’s fields and have Ruth glean there. Boaz arrives to greet his harvesters and meets Ruth. [Ding! The perfect Valentine’s Day gift, yes? Apologies for the distraction.]  “So Boaz said to Ruth, ‘My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me'” (2:8). Boaz is kind to Ruth because, no doubt, he knows the story of Naomi, her sadness and troubles, and he is truly a kind man. He replies to Ruth’s question about the favor, “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May your be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (2:12). Naomi confirms the kindness of Boaz, “The Lord bless him!…He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead” (2:20).  Act II comes to a close.

    In a time of violence, fighting and social decay, it’s refreshing to read a story of kindness and peace. It reminds me to look for the good everywhere I go, to seek and find the stories that reflect goodness in people. Thank you Lord for giving us this story and teaching us these truths.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.