Diving in! This week we begin a 4 week series on the Book of Ruth. Ruth is a masterpiece of Hebrew writing. Every word counts. We begin this week with Chapter 1 as are introduced to the family of Elimelek, whose wife is Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, whose wives are Orpah and Ruth, both Moabite women. Only a few verses into the story, Elimelek dies, and soon after that, Mahlon and Kilion as well. This leaves all three women widowed and in need. To be widowed is to be left in a vulnerable place.
This story takes place during the time of the ‘judges’ where everyone ‘did as they saw fit’. It was also a time of famine in the land. Famine would be a good way to describe the state of these women’s hearts as well. Naomi decides to go back to her homeland of Judah where she may find some hope for her life being closer to her own people. While on her way to her homeland, Naomi encourages Orpah and Ruth to go back to their homeland/people. What will they do? What will become of these women who find themselves in an ’empty’ place? What will others who encounter them do? What will God do?
Read chapter 1 of the Book of Ruth and ask yourself these questions: What name does Naomi call herself in verse 20 and why? How deep is Ruth’s love and commitment to Naomi? (1:16-17) Did you notice the contrast in 1:1 (first verse) and 1:22 (last verse)? Interesting…
I can’t wait to see where this story goes… This series will speak a powerful message for every follower of Jesus. See you Sunday!