Read Ruth 1
Famine in Bethlehem; Elimelech's family moves to Moab; death of Elimelech and their two sons; Naomi and Ruth return; Ruth gleans in Boaz’s field; marriage of Boaz and Ruth. (Their son, Obed, was the father of Jesse, King David’s father.)
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16).
Bethlehem, the land of promise, was experiencing a severe famine. All Israel knew the Lord's warning: If . . . ye will not do all My Commandments. . . . your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits (Leviticus 26:15,20).
Perhaps, while standing in their unproductive fields in the Judean hills, Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Chilion looked down on fertile Moab, where it was reported that all was prosperous maybe that is why they decided to abandon their God-given inheritance in Bethlehem, and sojourn (temporarily live) in the country of Moab (Ruth 1:1-2).
Unforseen tragedy struck the family in the idol-worshiping country of Moab. Elimelech died, and then his sons ignored their Covenant relationship with God and married Ruth and Orpah, who were Moabite women. Sometime later, Mahlon and Chilion also died (1:3-5). The three childless widows were left without a means of support. Then she (Naomi) arose with her daughters in law. . . . and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah (1:6-7).
Soon Orpah returned to her earthly securities, back unto her people, and unto her gods (1:15). But Ruth was no longer a Moabite in her heart, for she had forsaken the gods of Moab and confessed her loyalty to the God of Israel by saying to Naomi: Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God (1:16).
Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem where Ruth married Boaz. Ruth became the mother of Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David (4:17). The Book of Ruth highlights our Lord's loving-kindness to Gentiles in selecting a Moabite woman to become the great-grandmother of King David. Ruth is one of three Gentile women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:3,5-6). These historical facts illustrate the love of God for all lost mankind.
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God (Romans 2:28-29).
Thought for Today:
Out of our most bitter experiences God can perfect His will.
1:20 Mara, bitter; 2:3 her hap was to light, she happened to come; 2:8 fast by, close by; 4:1 the gate, the city’s meeting place to transact business; 4:5 thou must buy it also of Ruth, in order to redeem the property, you must take Ruth as your wife.
Through Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1), which means House of Bread. Jesus, the Bread of Life, satisfies the spiritual hunger of all who come to Him. Then Jesus said unto them. . . . I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger (John 6:32-35).
Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to forgive you of all ill will, grudges, or hatred you may hold in your heart toward another person (Matthew 6:14-15).
Optional Reading: Acts 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 15:3