Ruth 1:1-7

“…the loveliest complete work on a small scale.”

“No poet in the world has written a more beautiful short story.”

“It deals with unimportant people and unimportant matters. But it deals with them in such a way as to show that God is active in the affairs of men. He works His purpose out and blesses them that trust him.”

Ruth 1:1-7 (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.

2 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.

3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.

4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years,

5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6 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.

7 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.

Watch Judges Overview Video here

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)

Bethlehem “House of Bread”

 

Moab began with one of Lot’s daughters

2 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. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years,

Elimelech - “My God is King.”

“Elimelech’s very name should have given him pause. Yet it appears God is no more his king than those who live around him. For he did what was right in his own eyes and left his home.” 

“Instead of recognizing the famine to be punishment for the nation’s sin and repenting of their spiritual infidelity, they left their people and their land for the ‘unclean’ land of Moab.”

Naomi - “pleasant, lovely, or delightful.”

Mahlon - “to be weak or sick,”

Chilion - “failing, pining, or even annihilation.”

Ephrath

“They still rated their prospects more highly in Moab then in Judah; they felt more at home in the land of COMPROMISE than in the land of PROMISE.”

“The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” —C.S. Lewis

Orpah - “neck,”

Ruth - “to soak, irrigate, refresh”

“The author of Ruth is careful to use Moabite names, the names of foreigners, to stress that these were foreign women from a foreign land marrying into an Israelite family.”

5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. 

Tribe - Clans - Families

Levirate marriage

6 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. 7 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.

The gospel tells us that we were all foreigners

“Many bear the label “Christian,” yet their Christianity has no real impact on life-defining decisions, just as Elimelech bore the name “My God is King” yet lived in a way that made it evident that God wasn’t his king at all. The roads we choose for ourselves often make our deepest commitments plain for all to see.”