When we take God for our Father we must take His people for our people though they be poor and despised.
Those who forsake the communion of saints and return to the people of Moab will sooner or later break all communion with God and embrace the idols of Moab.
1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6 ¶ Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
16 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:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
19 ¶ So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Ruth 1:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Ruth 1:2-7 – J. Vernon McGee
Ruth 1:8-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Ruth 1:14 – J. Vernon McGee
Ruth 1:15-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Ruth 1:18-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Many have a value and affection for Christ yet come shoret of salvation by Him because they cannot find it in their hearts to forsake other things and attach themselves to Him. If we resolve that nothing shall separate us from our duty to Christ, we may be sure that nothing can ever separate us from happiness in Him.
Ruth 1:1-14 – Back to Bethlehem
It was a mistake for Elimelech and his family to have left Bethlehem; God would have sent them bread. The path became darker and darker. Mahlon means Pining and Chilion Consumption. Three graves in a strange land! All the laughter and hope that had given Naomi her name of Pleasant had turned to sadness; she longed to see the dear village of her childhood and early married life, and to drink the water of the well, II Samuel 23:15. It is thus that the banished soul comes back to God. Moab’s fascination palls on the taste; its cisterns are broken and will hold no water. See Psalm 63.
The two younger women climbed the road with Naomi, till they reached the point where the last glimpse could be taken of Moab. There Naomi uttered this remarkable address, urging her daughters to return. It was very thoughtful and tender, and touched chords of bitter memory and deep pathos. But the saddest undertone was not regret for the dead past; it was the feeling that the hand of the Lord had been against her. Nay, dear soul, that hand is already engaged in making all things work together for good. A few more months and your sorrow will be turned into joy, Ruth 4:16. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Ruth 1:15-22 – Love’s Steadfast Choice
This young woman was to be an ancestor of David and in the line of our Lord’s descent. Moabite though she was by birth, Ruth was designated for the high honor of introducing a new strain into the Hebrew race, that was to enrich it and through it the world. Indeed, we may almost detect in her noble and beautiful words some anticipation of the Psalms, which have gone singing down the ages. But how stern is the discipline through which those must pass who are called to the highest tasks! The death of her husband in their early married life, the anguish of Naomi, the separation from her own people, the loneliness of a foreign land—these were part of the great price that Ruth paid.
May not something also be said for the mother? It was because of her that Ruth was led to her supreme self-giving. She had never seen a suffering soul bear itself so heroically. She felt that, in the Hebrew faith, there was something which Chemosh had never imparted, to her people; she craved for herself some of the holy radiance that lingered on the worn face of Naomi. More people watch our bearing than we think. Let us attract them to Jesus! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Find the missing words then click and drag the letters in the grid below. Click “Start“
16 And ________ said, ______________ me not to __________ thee, or to ____________ from __________________ after thee: for whither thou __________, I will go; and where thou ______________, I will lodge: thy people shall be my ____________, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou __________, will I die, and there will I be ____________: the ________ do so to me, and ________ also, if ought but __________ ________ thee and me.
Ruth 1:20—Call me not Naomi, call me Mara.
So she spoke, as many have spoken since, not knowing that God’s ways are ways of pleasantness and all his paths peace, when they are not isolated from the plan of our life, but considered as parts of the whole. We cannot pronounce on any part of God’s dealing with us until the entire plan has been allowed to work itself out. How grieved God’s Spirit must be, who is lovingly doing his best, when He hears these words of murmuring and complaint! Let us lift the vail, and notice the pleasant things in Naomi’s life.
True, her husband and sons were dead; but their deaths in a foreign land had left her free to come back to her people and her God; to nestle again under the wings of Jehovah; and to share the advantages of the Tabernacle.
True, Orpah had gone back. Mahlon and Chilion were both buried in Moab; but she had Ruth, who was better to her than seven sons.
True, she had no male child to perpetuate her name; but the little Obed would, within a few months, be nestling in her aged arms, and laughing into her withered face.
True, she was very poor; but it was through her poverty that Ruth was brought first into contact with that good man, Boaz; and, besides, there was yet a little patrimony which pertained to her.
Yes, Naomi, like thousands more, thou must take back thy words. Thou didst deal bitterly with thine own happiness in leaving the Land of Promise for Moab; but God dealt pleasantly with thee in thy return and latter end. “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 33:18). —Our Daily Homily