Do I Have A Story For You, Ruth.
This is a story with a modern twist,
taken from the Book of Ruth
One day a man named Elim and his wife Naomi and their two sons Lon and Leon left their hometown and traveled to a foriegn land, because there was such a great famine. Coming as refugees, they did not know anyone. Soon tragedy struck and Elim died, leaving behind Naomi and her two sons. As strangers in a strange land it was hard for them to go on, but they managed and Lon and Leon each met a girl who they eventually married. Orpah and Ruth were their names. After about ten years, tragedy struck again and both of Naomi’s sons died. Naomi was not only a widow, but now her two sons were gone and she was left alone in a country that was not her home. Naomi’s daughters-in-law did care for her, but Naomi was homesick and wanted to go back to her land. One day she heard that the famine had come to an end in her country and she said to her daughters–in- law that she was going back home. So they packed up and began to leave,but Naomi, looking at the girl’s faces said to them, “Go, return back to your homes and God bless you for wanting to leave your land now to come to mine. I pray that you will find new husbands.” Naomi kissed her daughters and they all began to weep. Then she said once again, “ Go return to your homes. I am old and you are young and you need to find husbands.” Orpah kissed Naomi and left crying, but Ruth grabbed Naomi and would not let her go. Ruth knew that Naomi was like her own mother, and that she could not let her leave by herself, and in this way she was honoring her like a mother. She said, “Don’t tell me that I have to go back, because where you go I will go, and where you live I will live. Your people will now be my people and your God will now be my God. Where you die , I will die, and there, I will be buried, and only death, will separate us.” Naomi was so taken back by the loyalty of Ruth and they both cried all the more. After a long journey back home, they finally arrived. This time Ruth is the foreigner and when all the people around the town said, “Is that Naomi?” They were all curious to find her with Ruth. But Naomi was saddened by the fact that her whole family once left their hometown, but now only she has returned. These two women were not only all alone, but they had no means to provide for themselves. Naomi remembered a relative name Bo. Ruth said, “Let me go and I will work in his field.” Naomi said, “That is an excellent idea Ruth”, for Naomi had plans of her own. Well, Ruth caught the eye of Bo and he asked his head man, “Who is that young woman? She is not from here.” The head man knew what was the right thing to do when he saw Ruth,as it says in Leviticus 19:9-10,
“ When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap up to the edge of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not glean bare your vineyard, nor shall you gather every fallen grape of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.”
The head man told Bo that she was a foreigner who had returned with Naomi and that she had asked if she could work the field for a little food. Bo knew Naomi was a relative through her husband Elim and quickly went to see Ruth. Bo also knew what to do when he found out who Ruth was as we see in 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any do not care for their own, and especially for those of their own house, they have denied the faith and are worse than unbelievers.”
He told Ruth that she was welcomed anytime and that she should work alongside the other women and not only that, but she should help herself to the water and anything else that she may need. Ruth, could not believe that Bo was so kind to her being that she was a foreigner. Bo said to her, “Ruth, you have been so kind to Naomi, your mother-in-law after the death of her husband and you left your people and your country and everything that you were accustomed to, to take care of her. May God Bless you and He has, by my hand.” When it was time to eat Bo told Ruth to come and sit down by him and she ate till she was full. When it was time to go home that evening she took with her food for Naomi. Naomi was impatiently waiting for Ruth to come home so that she could hear what happened with her working in Bo’s field. When Ruth began to tell her, she was so excited and began to tell Ruth about her plan. Naomi once again begins to tell Ruth that Bo is one of their closest relatives and in their country they have a custom that if a woman is a widow without children then the closest relative can marry her and carry on the family name. “Now go back and work for him until the end of the barley harvest and then we shall see what we shall see.” So Ruth did, and the time came when it was close to the end of the harvest, when Naomi tells Ruth her total plan. She tells her that Bo will be working tonight, so get yourself all dressed in your finest, and wait for him. When he is finished eating and drinking, this is what you do. She tells her to wait till he goes to sleep, then go to him and uncover his feet and lie down there. Ruth, a little surprised by what Naomi was telling her to do, but she still did exactly what her mother-in-law told her to do. That night she looked upon Bo as he ate and drank and was having a good time with the other guys. Then when he fell asleep, she quietly came up to him and laid down at his feet and covered herself with his blanket. In the middle of the night Bo was so startled that he jumped up when he felt something at his feet. He said, “Who are you and what are you doing here?” Ruth was also startled when he jumped up and she said in a very scared voice, “I am Ruth.” So Bo covered her with the blanket and said, “Don’t be afraid Ruth, you have shown great kindness once again for the sake of your mother-in-law.” Bo knew what it was all about and he knew that Ruth was a foreigner and still he agreed to marry Ruth for the sake of Naomi. In the morning Bo sent Ruth home with food for her and Naomi and when Naomi saw Ruth coming down the road, Naomi ran to greet her. She asked, “How did it go my daughter?” Ruth told her and showed her all of the food that Bo sent home with her. That day Bo made all the arrangements to marry Ruth. So the day came for the wedding and everyone gave them their blessings and not only to the happy couple, but to Naomi, for she no longer had to worry about how she would live and take care of herself. God was faithful, to Naomi and to Ruth. Well, the blessings just kept coming and one day a child was born and Naomi who had lost both sons, now was blessed with a grandson and they named him Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse, who became the father of David, who became king and one day the King of Kings will sit on David’s throne.
No one knows where life will take them, but we do know that when we do the right thing in life,God blesses it. Ruth did not abandon her mother-in-law, even though she had to leave her country and her people, and embrace Naomi’s way of life. Naomi was a woman of faith, and she set the example for Ruth to follow. Ruth could see that Naomi’s God was the one true God and that Naomi was a righteous person.
So the question is, are you setting an example for people to see, that you believe in the one true God?
Are you living a life that glorifies God?
Are you loyal like Ruth to the ones that care about you?
When you are with your friends do you act differently than you do at home?
God blesses faithfulness and he rewards those who are not afraid to be an example of righteousness and godliness.
Let’s pray, Father, teach us to be people of integrity and loyal to those who are older than us. Let us show honor to those who deserve honor. Let us give to those in need. Father God we ask You today to give us the courage to stand for You. Let us be that example to others, so that we may reflect You. Let our light shine, so that people will be drawn to the Light of Life, which is in You.