“I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
~ Ruth 1:21
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you know a widow? A widow is a gal whose husband has died. Your grandpaa’s ma is a widow. Your grandpaa’s ma is 90 years old. Your grandpaa’s ma has been a widow for six years. Your grandmaa’s ma became a widow when she was 47 years old. Your grandmaa’s dad was 49 years old when he died from a heart attack. Your grandpaa had asked your grandmaa’s dad the afternoon of the night that he died for his okay for your grandpaa to marry your grandmaa. Your grandmaa’s dad was fine with your grandpaa marrying his daughter.
Naomi became a widow when her husband died in the country of Moab. Naomi and Elimelech had moved from their place near the town of Bethlehem to the country of Moab. Naomi and Elimelech were from Ephrathah. The land area that surrounded the town of Bethlehem was called Ephrathah. The town of Bethlehem is located in Judah’s land area. Judah’s land area was part of the land area that God gave to the Israelite people group guys and gals – God’s specially chosen guy and gals, to have to live in as their very own land. Naomi and Elimelech were from the Israelite people group guys and gals. Naomi and Elimelech had two baby boys born to them. Naomi and Elimelech named their two boys Mahlon and Chilion. At the time when Naomi and Elimelech decided to relocate with their two boys to the country of Moab, God’s specially chosen guys and gals who were living in the land area of Judah were going through a period of apostasy – a turning away from worshipping God, through degrading, immoral actions and activities. God specially chosen guys and gals had turned to worshipping the inanimate gods of their neighboring people groups guys and gals. A famine at this time was also causing God’s specially chosen guys and gals to experience hardship. Moving to the country of Moab from the town of Bethlehem seemed like the right things to do at the time. Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite people group gals – which apparently was an okay thing to do. The Moabite people group’s patriarch – Moab, was one of Lot’s kids. Moab’s ma was Lot’s oldest daughter. After God convinced Lot to leave with two daughters their home that was located in the town of Sodom before He rained brimstone on the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah because of how deep the guys and gals who were living these towns had fallen into abject depravity, Lot and his two daughters resettled on the land area east of the Dead Sea. When apparently there were not any guys around for Lot’s daughter’s to marry and have kids with, the two gals got their dad drunk and . . . Mahlon’s wife’s name was Ruth. Chilion’s wife’s name was Orpah. When Chilion and Mahlon died, they left Ruth and Orpah widowed. Ruth 1 recounts this sad time in Naomi’s life. Naomi no longer had a husband. Naomi no longer had her two sons. Naomi had no grandkids. The only family who Naomi had left were her two daughters-in-law – who were both Moabite people group gals. How Naomi was really feeling is found in verse 21, “I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.””
After Naomi had lived with the Moabite people group of guys and gals for about ten years and after her kids died and because the area around the town of Bethlehem was no longer suffering from a famine, Naomi decided to go back to her family in Ephrathah. Ruth and Orpah insisted on going with Naomi to the town of Bethlehem. Naomi insisted that Ruth and Orpah stay with their families in the country of Moab. Naomi claimed that she was too bitter and old to get married again. Naomi thought that Ruth and Orpah were young enough to get married again and that they should marry Moabite people group guys. After going a short distance, Naomi again told her daughters-in-law that they really should remain in the country of Moab with their own people group of guys and gals. Ruth continued to insist that she was going to go with her mother-in-law to the town of Bethlehem while Orpah decided to go back to her family in the country of Moab. Naomi and Ruth arrived in the town of Bethlehem just as the barley harvest was beginning – which would mean that Naomi and Ruth arrived in the town of Bethlehem sometime in late April. This very sad story will have a happy ending. The timing of the barley harvest is a player in this story. This story led to fame for Ruth – the daughter-in-law who did not leave the side of her mother-in-law, and infamy for Orpah – the daughter-in-law who left her mother-in-law to stay home in the country of Moab with her family. As a foreigner to the Israelite people group guys or gals, Ruth would have been automatically despised by the Israelite people group guys and gals but . . . Ruth would providentially end up in Jesus’ family tree. Four gals are in Jesus’ family tree. Tamar – an abused sister, Rahab – an enemy prostitute, Bathsheba – an illicit wife and Ruth – a foreign gal. These four gals are examples of who God uniquely choses for Himself to be His adopted kids. Orpah on the other hand has another legacy. A ma miswrote on a birth certificate the name Orpah as Oprah. Oprah is today a TV icon who has international influence. Your grandpaa wonders if Oprah would have the same kind of fame today if her name had not been miswritten or if her name was Orpah or . . . because Ruth sensed an unconditional commitment to her mother-in-law because she had married one of Naomi’s kids, Ruth did not have second thoughts about going where Naomi went. Your grandpaa believes that God honored Ruth’s faithful allegiance and unreserved devotion to her mother-in-law. Your grandpaa also believes that God had it all choreographed or planned out that Ruth would end up in the Ephrathah area – in the town of Bethlehem, so that Ruth would be in Jesus’ lineage. What do you think?
Ruth 1 (796)