In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. (Ruth 1:1-5 NLT)
No husband. No sons. No grandchildren.
Sometime later, Naomi heard that Israel was once again being blessed by the Lord, so she and her daughters-in-law get ready to return to her homeland. On the way, Naomi says: “Go back to your mothers’ homes…” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept. (v.8-9)
Ruth responds: “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (v.16-17) So Ruth and Naomi return to Bethlehem.
Later in the book, Ruth marries a guy named Boaz and they have a son named Obed. Now, I’ve got to admit, this could become a Hallmark movie because everyone lives happily ever after. Why do I say that? At the end of the book, the writer gives us the genealogy of Ruth’s child: Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. And who was of the son of David? Jesus. So, despite the loss of her husband and sons, Naomi holds a critical role in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Hence, happily ever after.
Read last week’s blog, Dealing with Trauma – Standing for Righteousness