Updated: May 10, 2022
1 During the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. A man with his wife and two sons went from Bethlehem of Judah to dwell in the territory of Moab. 2 The name of that man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the territory of Moab and settled there.
3 But Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died. Then only she was left, along with her two sons. 4 They took wives for themselves, Moabite women; the name of the first was Orpah and the name of the second was Ruth. And they lived there for about ten years.
5 But both of the sons, Mahlon and Chilion, also died. Only the woman was left, without her two children and without her husband.
6 Then she arose along with her daughters-in-law to return from the field of Moab, because while in the territory of Moab she had heard that the Lord had paid attention to his people by providing food for them. 7 She left the place where she had been, and her two daughters-in-law went with her. They went along the road to return to the land of Judah.
8 Naomi said to her daughters-in-law, “Go, turn back, each of you to the household of your mother. May the Lord deal faithfully with you, just as you have done with the dead and with me.
Ruth and Naomi are heroes of the Biblical story, not because they conquered armies or defeated enemies or talked to kings. Naomi is a serious, thoughtful, intentional actor, while Ruth tends to be more emotional and spontaneous. Both are needed to emerge from their crisis through clear-headed intentional action. They go to Israel with eyes wide open on the difficulties and challenges they were facing.
- We can hide from the truth of our situation. What truth do you need to acknowledge in order to move forward?
- Are you more likely to “shoot from the hip” when facing a time of trouble or do you spend time in careful though? How might you become more like the other type of person in order to better emerge from crisis?
Prayer: God of Naomi and Ruth, help me to see your possibilities for the future and to act with intentional and purpose like Naomi, with the energy and enthusiasm of Ruth. Amen.