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April 10, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 2 Samuel 19-21
Audio: 2 Samuel 19-21

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Ruth 1 (ESV)

In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 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. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 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.17 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.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

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Next: Ruth 2

Back: Judges 21

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Where You Go, I Will Go

    We begin today with the short book of Ruth. After the death of her husband, Moab, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, Naomi and her daughter-in-laws (Orpah and Ruth) left for Judah because she heard "the Lord had visited his people and given them food" (Ruth 1:6). 

    It's clear these were desperate times for Naomi. Without any way to support her daughter-in-laws or provide husbands for them, she wanted each of them to go back to their mothers' house so they would be taken care of. 

    Orpah left but Ruth 1:14 says that "Ruth clung to her." The next few verses offer insight into how different Orpah and Ruth were as Naomi says to Ruth, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law" (Ruth 1:15). 

    Ruth says "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. 17 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" (Ruth 1:16-17). 

    Talk about loyalty! Talk about commitment! Ruth is certainly not like her sister-in-law and was devoted to her mother-in-law 'till the end. 

    Ruth 1:18 says, "And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more."

    When Naomi and Ruth arrived at Bethlehem, the women were surprised Naomi had fallen on hard times. Naomi recognizes that it was the Lord' doing.

    In his Study Bible, John MacArthur writes, "Naomi’s outlook on life, although grounded in God’s sovereignty, was not hopeful; thus she asked to be renamed Mara which means “bitter.” Her experiences were not unlike Job (Job 1–2) but her perspective resembled that of Job’s wife (Job 2:10). In reality, Naomi had 1) a full harvest prospect, 2) Ruth plus Boaz, not to mention, 3) the hope of God’s future blessing."

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 369). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    Will we praise God when times are difficult or only when things are going good?

    Will we trust Him to provide for us even when things seem bleak?

  2. I couldn’t help but recognize the parallels here with the news we hear daily of refugees gathering daily at our southern border.

    These are my notes on the 1st chapter of Ruth:

    v. 1 – Elimelech, Naomi and his two sons were refugees from Bethlehem in Judah when they “sojourned” to Moab (not in Israel) because of the famine. They stayed there in Moab, and began to make a new life for themselves, far from their own people and culture. Surely there other Israelites with them, since they left because of famine. Did they struggle to trust God during this difficult time, especially as they left Israel and all they knew for a foreign land with foreign gods and a foreign culture? 

    v. 4 – Ruth and Orpah were Moabite women, so that means Elimelech’s sons took foreign wives. How did their Israelite culture and beliefs influence their wives? Or was it the other way around? Were Elimelech and Naomi disappointed in their sons for taking foreign wives and disobeying God? Or were they being absorbed into the Moabite culture themselves? 

    v. 6 – After her husband and sons died, Naomi was left alone to care for herself, far from her family back home. She’d heard the famine was over, and so packed up her belongings and headed back to Judah, at first with her daughters-in-law. Going back to her family, her culture, and her people — but as an older widow with no one to care for her. Would God provide for and protect her? What was the journey like for a widow? 

    vv. 8-15 – Naomi gave her daughters-in-law her blessing to return home to their own parents’ homes and start over. She thanked them for their kindness to her. Orpah went home. Ruth stayed with Naomi. Would Orpah return to her parents’ home with a new faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? What did she believe now, after having been a part of Naomi’s family? Had she been influenced at all? 

    v. 16 is my favorite part of this chapter. Ruth says to Naomi: 

    “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” 

    Isn't this our hope with all people God brings into our lives, whether as refugees, coworkers, family or neighbors? That they would be influenced by us to eventually say, “Your God shall be my God”? That they would be saved? How can we change the way we see “sojourners” in our lives — not as impositions or enemies or burdens, but as opportunities for us to show the love of Christ? How can we influence them for His glory when we turn them away, treat them with prejudice, or refuse to help them? Is the way I treat people turning them away from “my God”? Or am I showing them the grace He showed me when He welcomed me into His kingdom and into His family…when I had nothing at all of worth to offer in return? 

     

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