Find Revolutionary Hope in the Book of Ruth

Photo by Joel Henry

Photo by Joel Henry

I wanted to look at just chapter one of Ruth for this post.

You can’t help but see Naomi’s side of things in this chapter. After all, Naomi and her family leave Israel due to a famine. They stay in Moab and Naomi’s husband dies. She and her sons stay there and the sons take Moabite wives. After ten years both sons die. The three women are left as childless widows. Finally, Naomi, feeling totally broken and abandoned by God, decides to go home. Both daughters-in-law tell Naomi that they will go back with her. Naomi tells them to go home as she cannot marry and have sons for them to marry. Orpah goes home. Ruth clings to Naomi and goes back with her.

Well, that’s a summary of chapter one and it certainly seems to be about Naomi and her family, but as I am often reminded, our salvation journey is not about us. We certainly benefit from our salvation, but it’s about Jesus getting the glory.

So let’s take a look at this same chapter from Ruth’s viewpoint:

  • Ruth sees a new family move to town

  • Ruth watches this family suffer a loss of the father

  • Ruth marries into this Jewish family

  • Ruth gains a new sister (in-law)

  • Both Ruth’s husband and her brother-in-law die after ten years

  • Ruth is just a devastated as her mother-in-law and sister-in-law (left as childless widows)

  • Ruth watches her sister-in-law, who professed her loyalty to Naomi, leave and go home

  • Ruth professes her loyalty to Naomi and Naomi’s God

  • Ruth leaves her family and country behind as she follows Naomi back to Israel

While Elimelech and Noami sinned by seeking refuge from the famine in the midst of God’s enemies, God used their time there to bring Ruth, a Gentile, into the Kingdom of God and into to lineage of Jesus! There Naomi was thinking that these hardships were all about her and yet, God was using them to bring Ruth to Himself for His glory.

I know that hope must have been difficult to see in the middle of the terrible hardship these people were enduring, BUT GOD is HOPE and is always ready to give us His HOPE which comes with His Salvation.

How have you seen God move in your life after you realized a situation wasn’t about you, but about God? Leave a comment below.