Have you ever been in a tough situation? Our lesson today describes how God brought Naomi and Ruth through tough times. The Story Bible does an excellent job showing us how God restored Naomi and Ruth. “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So, a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.” (Ruth 1:1 NIV). “Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons, and her husband.” (Ruth 1:3-5 NIV).
This was a very bad situation for Naomi. Naomi had no male figure in her family to take on the financial responsibilities and the hard physical labor. However, she heard that God had provided food for the people of Israel, and she decided to go back to her home in Bethlehem. At this point, the family had to make some very tough decisions. Orpah and Ruth had to decide whether they wanted to travel with Ruth to Bethlehem or to stay in their home country. Orpah decided to stay in her home country. Ruth decided to travel with Naomi to Bethlehem. The scripture reads: “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NIV).
Ruth’s heart was to follow Naomi. Naomi went to Bethlehem as a broken person. She was so broken that she could not identify with her own name “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” (Ruth 1:20 NIV). However, what Naomi did not realize was that the key to her redemption was right beside her, which was Ruth. God had a plan to deliver Naomi. God’s plan was to restore Naomi, and everyone associated with her. If you are feeling broken just remember that God has a plan!
So, if you know someone that is broken hearted remind them that “God has a plan, and He is going to bring them out.” Ruth, now a widow, marries Boaz who was Naomi’s kinsman redeemer. Boaz restores Naomi’s family land according to the customs of their time. The answer to Naomi’s situation was there all the time, in Ruth’s commitment to Naomi and Naomi’s God. Ruth’s commitment to God opened the door to their abundant blessings. Naomi’s God was Jesus who hears our every prayer and answers when we call.
This story reminds us of one of our favorite hymns “O Come, O Come Emanuel” (https://youtu.be/g5WhrUVdbkA). Join us in our Zoom Bible study (email us at: [email protected] to get a link) as Pastor Willie shares a plot twist in this story of faith and commitment, and goes deeper on the idea of the kinsmen redeemer, and how God has a master plan for us.
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Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh
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