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Boaz was a near kinsman of Naomi and a mighty man of wealth. I am now inclined to believe that Ruth is an example of Romans 2:12-16. For I am too old to get married again. We know that this backfired because Balaam could not curse those whom God had blessed.5 When this approach did not work, Balaam counseled Balak how to harm Israel in a very different way – by having the Moabite women seduce the Israelite men.6 One might easily infer from this that the Moabites, like the Canaanites, were a sexually immoral people (in a way that tempted the Israelites). As I was studying our text for this message, it occurred to me that the text which describes the origin of the Moabites in Genesis 19 is a key to understanding the story of Ruth, and especially Naomi’s role in this account. God has chosen to save Gentiles as well as Jews. If her daughters-in-law could snag a good (Moabite) husband, bear some children, and have a bountiful harvest they were indeed blessed, at least as Naomi viewed it. The Arrival in Beth-lehem. And she was honored to be a part of the messianic line.34. Lot fled with his daughters and was living in a cave. His oldest daughter concluded that their father would die without an heir. 14-17. Ruth rejected Naomi’s appeal to leave her and go back to Moab, choosing instead to believe and behave like a true Israelite. 12 Go back home, my daughters! (1) There is no clear link to a particular time, to a particular judge, or to a particular event recorded in the Book of Judges. We should note several things about Naomi’s third attempt to persuade Ruth to join Orpah as she returned to Moab in verse 15. As the story of Esther unfolds, it looks as though every Jew is doomed to annihilation, but for the providence of God, whereby God’s enemies are destroyed and His people are spared. Ruth focused on Naomi and her need and on Naomi’s people and their God. There is really no evidence of faith (on Naomi’s part), either. In a great demonstration of faith, Ruth, her other daughter-in-law, returned with Naomi to Bethlehem. Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan. 15 In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Ruth emphatically says “No” to Naomi, but with such wonderful words Naomi can hardly continue to stand in her way. In her thinking, God had stripped her of all hope by taking her husband and her sons in death, and by preventing their wives from bearing children. “Pay attention to do everything I have told you, and do not even mention the names of other gods– do not let them be heard on your lips” (Exodus 23:13). This time it is Orpah who kisses Naomi goodbye. 3. 15 The translations differ here. Naomi told her friend not to call her “Naomi” (which means “pleasant”) any longer, but rather to call her “Mara” (which means “bitter”). She persuaded her younger sister to help her get him drunk, and then for both of them to sleep with him to produce offspring for him. Perhaps one reason why the author does not make a major point out of the theme of divine judgment is because his purpose is to emphasize divine mercy, not only as God provided food for His people, but also in His providential provision of a family and a posterity for Naomi and Elimelech. Only death will be able to separate me from you!”. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More, 4. Wouldn’t it be better for the two of them to travel together? I was bereaved and barren, dismissed and divorced. and lifts up the needy from the garbage pile, 9 He makes the barren woman of the family. May the Lord show you the same kind of devotion that you have shown to your deceased husbands and to me! New International Version (NIV). But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. It is as though she has forgotten God’s description of Himself in Exodus 34: 6 The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, 7 keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. I’ll attempt to support my conclusions as we proceed in our study of this book. 36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. And Naomi was now ready to arrange for a marriage and offspring in an “unconventional” way, just as Tamar, the mother of Moab, and the Israelites (more recently) did. (L) Would you remain unmarried for them? Judah (through whom the messianic line would be traced) kept his third son from a Levirate marriage with the first son’s widow, and then had sex with a woman he thought was a cult prostitute.31 God not only preserved the messianic line, He was faithful to fulfill His (Abrahamic) covenant32 with Abraham. Naomi’s people (Israel) would be her people, and Naomi’s God would be her God. Naomi seems to be encouraging Ruth to accompany Orpah as she returns home. Why do you call me ‘Naomi,’ seeing that the Lord has opposed me, and the Sovereign One has caused me to suffer?” 22 So Naomi returned, accompanied by her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth, who came back with her from the region of Moab. Naomi thought of God’s blessings in terms of having food and a family. When Naomi returns to Bethlehem, she finds most of the residents of the city still living there, and judging by what we are told about Boaz, they appear to have done fairly well. Ruth Goes Out to Glean. Why would you come with me? 34 So in the morning the older daughter said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. She urged her daughters-in-law to return to their mother’s home, with the expectation that the LORD would bless them with security in a marriage to a new12 Moabite husband. Now that Orpah has decided to turn back, Naomi appears to have more leverage. She has nothing to offer them. The answer is not hard to find. The first chapter of Ruth is very important because our appraisal of Ruth, Naomi, and (soon) Boaz in the first chapters of Ruth will greatly shape our understanding of the rest of the book. And they continued to live there about ten years. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. The first chapter of Ruth concludes with a summary statement that Naomi and Ruth with Ruth described as the “ the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. She was not a Jew, and she had not been raised by parents who taught her the law. It took two attempts to convince Orpah to turn back and three attempts to convince Naomi that her efforts to turn Ruth away were futile. The subject was the Book of Ruth. I remember responding to Nate, “Neither do the rest of us.” Well, if this is true of us, it is certainly true of the Moabites. The people hardly believe it is Naomi. 1 When Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to commit sexual immorality with the daughters of Moab. Even professing Christians can fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent. When Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped trying to get Ruth to return to her own parent’s home. When I realized this, I blurted out, “What a witch!”, much to the surprise of the rest of the class. There is something particularly encouraging about our text. Many years later, the Israelites were camped on the plains of Moab, across the Jordan River from Jericho, poised to enter the Promised Land. She gave them very pragmatic counsel, based upon what could be seen, rather than on God’s Word and the principle of faith. In Job and in Ruth, this term seems to underscore God’s power, but in the context of suffering and adversity. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, 16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus (Romans 2:12-16, emphasis mine). Such people are in misery, and honestly, they make those around them miserable as well. They were both Moabite women, close to the same age. I pray that you, like Ruth, have forsaken all confidence in yourself and have cast yourself upon the one true God for salvation. Orpah and Ruth accompany her part of the way. Moab’s hostility and opposition to Israel continued on into the period of the Judges. Ruth went to a neighbor’s farm and started doing the same. It would do us well to review where the Moabites came from and how they related to Israel in the past. Naomi’s first attempt is described in verses 8-10. One would have to begin by saying that these two women have a fair bit in common. Study Bible The Return to Bethlehem 19 So Naomi and Ruth traveled until they came to Bethlehem. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,(Y) if even death separates you and me.”(Z) 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Instead you must completely overthrow them and smash their standing stones to pieces” (Exodus 23:24). Out of love, Naomi encourages her daughter-in-laws to return to their mothers homes. In Bethlehem, the Lord allowed Ruth to remarry and give birth to a son named Obed, who became grandfather to King David. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? If Naomi had other sons, she could give them to these women in Levirate marriage, but she has no other sons. They arrived, in fact, just in time for the barley harvest. Who would want Naomi for a mother-in-law? 6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 6 So she decided to return home from the region of Moab, accompanied by her daughters-in-law, because while she was living in Moab she had heard that the Lord had shown concern for his people, reversing the famine by providing abundant crops. (2) There is no indication that other Israelites from Bethlehem (or elsewhere in Israel) accompanied Elimelech and his family to Moab. But the most dramatic new development in Naomi’s argument is her reference to Orpah’s “god”: 15 “So Naomi said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god. To her, God’s blessings should appear now, in the form of bread, an eligible bachelor (marriage), and babies. Orpah succumbed to Naomi’s reasoning and chose to pursue what appeared to be in her best interest. Ruth’s words are beautiful, and thus it is no wonder that some have chosen to employ them for their marriage vows. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole city was stirred because of them, and the women of the city exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 “Do not call me Naomi,” she replied. 22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning. Law within them and write it on their way until they arrived to Bethlehem and Ruth. Does she mention the mistreatment they would be a reminder that Elimelech and were... Time you’re ready for your life to change of you, to your mother ’ home. Spared, but I think that this daughter’s choice of words is important... 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