When famine hit Bethlehem, Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and their two sons, Chilion and Mahlon left and traveled to Moab. But while they were in Moab, Naomi’s husband died. A However, ten years later, both of Naomi’s sons died. When both of her sons died, Naomi decided to return home to Bethlehem.
When she prepared to return home to Bethlehem, she told her daughters-in-law to return to their families and their own gods. Eventually, Orpah returned to her family, but Ruth did not want to return to her family. Instead, she clung to Naomi. Ruth told Naomi that I will go where you go, live where you, and serve the God that you serve. Seeing that she could not convince Ruth to return home, Naomi stopped trying, and she and Ruth traveled to Bethlehem.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, it was harvest time. Naomi was full of sorrow due to her circumstances, but despite the circumstance, she and Ruth had one another. Ruth volunteered to go and glean the fields to provide for them. Gleaning is when poor people pick up the grains that the workers have accidentally dropped on the ground.
Ruth went to the fields of Boaz to glean. At first, Ruth did not know that Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s husband. When Boaz saw Ruth, he asked who she was. When he discovered that she was the Moabite woman who had returned with Naomi, he showed her favor. Not only was she a hard worker, working all day long with few breaks, but also, she took care of Naomi as is she was her own mother.
Eventually, through the advice of Naomi, Ruth would marry Boaz. When Ruth and Boaz had their son Obed, they placed the baby in Naomi’s arms. This baby would carry on the name of Naomi’s husband and sons. Who would the baby become? Obed was the father of Jesse who was the father of King David, and it was in King David’s line, that Jesus was born.
Source: The Book of Ruth
- What makes someone a mother? What are the attributes they show?
- Besides your own mother, what woman, relative or non-relative, has been a mother- figure to you? Why was/is this person a mother figure to you?
- Before Ruth knew Naomi, her family served false gods, but she was willing to serve God because of Naomi’s influence. What do you think it takes to win someone over to God?
- In life, we will have physical mothers, and we will have spiritual mothers. What is the difference? How does the difference affect your life?
- Naomi was not Ruth’s mother, but Ruth treated her as a mother, working hard to provide for them. What motivates a person to work for someone who has no family ties to them?
- Because of how Ruth treated Naomi, she was shown favor by Boaz. Ruth showed favor toward Naomi because of how Naomi had treated her obviously. When have you received a return of favor after extending favor?
- Like a good mother, Naomi provided Ruth with excellent advice, which led to a great marriage and blessings for both. What is some great advice you have received from your mother or a mother-figure in your life? How did that advice bless you?
- Because of Naomi’s motherly kindness to Ruth, Naomi was able to revive her husband’s family line. What act of kindness led to something bigger in your life?
- How awesome is it that Naomi became a part of the story of Jesus because of how she treated and advised Ruth?
- As you think about your mother or the mother-figure in your life, what greatness do you want them to experience from God?
- But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” Ruth 1:8-10 ESV
- And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. Ruth 1:15-18 ESV
- So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:13-17 ESV
- When planted in the right way, your act of kindness can extend far beyond the moment. It can keep on giving and come back to you greater than you expect.
- Be such a great influence in the lives of others that they will want to model your life.
- Love will drive us to do what is hard and unexpected.
- Love and perseverance through the hard times will lead to the greatest blessings.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for the lives of Naomi and Ruth whose example of great love for each other shows us how love can extend beyond what we imagine, that kindness is something which can keep on giving. May we have a heart as Naomi who shared her faith through her care of others, and may we have hearts like Ruth who unselfishly gave of herself to help someone she was not obligated by the world to help. Together, these women expressed the type of love you want us to express to one another. May it be so in our actions daily. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.
Comment: What is the best part of this story of Naomie and Ruth for you? Why?