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who did ruth return to bethlehem with

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We should learn from Naomi that if barrenness is one’s earthly fate, our heavenly fate is vastly different. But she concluded that God was using His power against her, rather than for her. Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they made their father drunk that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. The final chapters of the Book of Judges are certainly “the worst of times,” and yet the Book of Ruth describes the “best of times.” This suggests to me that godly character is not only evident in the good times, but even more dramatically in the bad times. In the dark shadows of the days of the judges, we find two individuals whose lives are truly lights in the darkness. My sense is that most of the residents of Bethlehem stayed in Bethlehem, rather than leaving to sojourn in a foreign country during the days of the famine. May your acts of kindness be repaid fully by the LORD God of Israel, from whom you have sought protection!” (Ruth 2:10-12, emphasis mine). Instead of trusting God to preserve her husband’s line (indeed, the Messianic line), she at least passively (if not actively) approves of their marriage to non-Israelites. Ruth does not cling to Naomi as a kindred spirit, but as a very needy person. I would be very reluctant to conclude that Ruth’s husband or his parents taught her the law. One day after Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem, Ruth went to the fields and gathered all the corn which was left behind by the workers for the poor and widows to collect. Obviously, Naomi had changed. 10 From what we learn from the Book of Ruth, one does wonder what role Naomi played in this decision. Fearing they would be overrun by the Israelites, Balak (king of Moab)4 hired Balaam to curse Israel. 7 Now as she and her two daughters-in-law began to leave the place where she had been living to return to the land of Judah, 8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Listen to me! Your people will be my people(W) and your God my God. Ruth went to a neighbor’s farm and started doing the same. Of whose family was Boaz? Naomi was preoccupied with the here and now, rather than trusting in God’s covenant promises by faith. It has been supplied by the translators. At the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22) Fill in the blank: "Let her _____ even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her." Now, Naomi urges both of her daughters-in-law to go back home to their own land21 and to their mothers’ homes22 and to find a new Moabite husband, so that they might have security.23 While God promised to bless all those who blessed Abraham and his offspring, Naomi told her daughters-in-law that to stay with her would be to share in the curse God had placed upon her.24 As the story of Ruth and Boaz unfolds, God promises are fulfilled, while Naomi’s warning and instructions are proven to be false. Lot’s daughters, the Israelites (on behalf of the Benjamites), and Naomi are inclined to resort to a pragmatic solution, rather than one that is faith-based and rooted in principle. 11 In the same way, the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. Serving the god(s) of Moab (or any others) was an abomination to God: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Both women initially refused to heed Naomi’s exhortation to leave her and return to Moab. Lot and his family were spared, but his wife died (turned to salt) because she looked back. The oldest daughter (who will become the mother of Moab) saw their situation as impossible. Just being Jewish and knowing the Law of Moses isn’t enough; one must also live by the law. The benchmark by which we need to compare Ruth and Naomi is the Abrahamic Covenant: 1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father's household to the land that I will show you. What Naomi does mention pertains to marriage and child bearing. Was it at Naomi’s initiative that her sons took Moabite women for wives? If Naomi had other sons, she could give them to these women in Levirate marriage, but she has no other sons. NAOMI AND RUTH RETURN TO BETHLEHEM (Ruth 1:19-22 ) They Arrive in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:19). 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped trying to dissuade her. 32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine so we can have sexual relations with him and preserve our family line through our father.” 33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, and the older daughter came and had sexual relations with her father. Both were traveling with Naomi as she made her way toward Israel. We, too, live in very pragmatic times, and those who live by principle – especially the principles of God’s Word – are few and far between. “Can this be Naomi?” they asked (verse 19). No wonder God forbade Moabites from entering the assembly to the tenth generation.7. That strongly suggests that she was still a Moabite at heart, still an idolater at heart. The barley harvest will play a significant role in moving this story forward in the next two chapters. The inference is clear: to remain with Naomi has no promise of blessing and every reason to expect that they will share in her divinely-imposed affliction. 1 Copyright © 2010 by Robert L. Deffinbaugh. It is more bitter(M) for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me! She does not acknowledge sin on her part (and Elimelech’s), and she does not seek to repent. Ruth’s words are her covenant with Naomi, with Israel, and with God, patterned after God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants: Only death will be able to separate me from you!” (Ruth 1:16-17). Naomi’s sons marry foreign women, Orpah and Ruth. We certainly are reminded of the sovereignty of God by our text, but unfortunately most of the emphasis on God’s sovereignty in chapter 1 comes from Naomi, and she is not seeing things as she should. Ruth decided to stay with her, saying, “Where you go, I will go” (Ruth 1:16). In Judges 19-21, we find a similar situation. Study Bible The Return to Bethlehem 19 So Naomi and Ruth traveled until they came to Bethlehem. Ruth 1:6 ESV. There do not appear to be many generations between Boaz and David, but biblical genealogies don’t always include every genealogical link in such cases. The suffering of His people, whether for sins they have committed or for living righteously, is but the prelude to His glorious salvation. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,(Y) if even death separates you and me.”(Z) 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. She views God as harsh and uncaring, doling out affliction and trouble in a way that is completely unrelated to her attitudes and actions. If our text tells us anything about God, it is that His ways are not our ways. And in good covenant form, she pronounced a curse upon herself if she did otherwise. Someone reminded me that the Book of Ruth is a lot like the Book of Esther. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. No, my daughters, you must not return with me. 17 See Ruth 4:17, 21-22. In short, Naomi is a picture of Israel’s spiritual condition at this point in their history. There is no doubt that this is a great honor and privilege for a woman. Elimelech had a wife named Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. To walk in the steps of Abraham, one like Ruth would need to: (1) leave her relatives; (2) leave her homeland; and, (3) trust God to bless her as she sought to bless her mother-in-law. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 1 in the series, Ruth: A Story of Redemption, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 10, 2010. 10 But they said to her, “No! How could Naomi encourage Ruth (and, by inference, Orpah) to return to their god(s), when doing so would condemn them eternally? It’s as simple as starting the journey home. This is completely secular thinking. Each of you should return to your mother’s home! 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. She has no husband to father sons, and she is too old to bear children anyway. 1 “Shout for joy, O barren one who has not given birth! The Messianic seed was often put at risk in the Old Testament. Naomi saw singleness (widowhood for her) and childlessness as a curse, while Paul taught that singleness could facilitate ministry to others and to God (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). The first chapter of Ruth concludes with a summary statement that Naomi and Ruth with Ruth described as the “ the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. They did not seem to live by it, so why would they consider it important to teach it to a Moabite? And thus there is no evidence of repentance on her part at this point in time. Other than weeping, Orpah remains silent;20 Ruth’s words and actions are what the author has chosen to report. Where you go I will go,(V) and where you stay I will stay. It would do us well to review where the Moabites came from and how they related to Israel in the past. In a way, though, their journeys differed. (AA), 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. 37 The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. To him be glory forever! The chapter ends with the author’s assessment of where things stand, with a hint of what lies ahead. 1Sa 3:17; 14:44; 20:13; 25:22; 2Sa 3:9, 35; 2Sa 19:13; 1Ki 2:23; 19:2; 20:10; 2Ki 6:31, NIV, Story of Jesus: Experience the Life of Jesus as One Seamless Story. Ruth worked in the field belonging to her relative Boaz and ultimately became his wife. (K) 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. May the Lord show you the same kind of devotion that you have shown to your deceased husbands and to me! (3) One gets the impression that those who remained in Bethlehem fared reasonably well during the famine; certainly better than Naomi and her family did. At the beginning of which harvest did Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem? Ruth 1:6-18 New International Version (NIV) Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem. I pray that you, like Ruth, have forsaken all confidence in yourself and have cast yourself upon the one true God for salvation. They would be (or so it may have seemed to Naomi) a liability to her when she returned. Follow your sister-in-law back home!’” (Ruth 1:15). How could any faithful Israelite encourage someone to return to their (false) god(s)? Ruth was determined to serve and care for her mother-in-law; Orpah chose to look out for herself. It is not Naomi’s belief in the sovereignty of God that troubles me as much as how she applies it. Ruth 1:19-22 NRSV. And they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. He came alongside Eve as her friend, as someone who was doing her a favor. It was my friend Dave Austin who reminded me of the danger of pragmatism from this text. His counsel (even though it effectively called God a liar) was given as though it were in her best interest. 9 May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept loudly. In fact, my study for this sermon has caused me to think of Naomi in even less flattering terms. Chapter 1: Ruth and Naomi in Moab. It is no wonder that Naomi speaks to her daughters-in-law about husbands, marriage, and children, because this is what is on her mind. Put another way, the title of this book is Ruth, not Orpah. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah went to live as a resident foreigner in the region of Moab, along with his wife and two sons. We find Ruth contrasted with Orpah, and then with Naomi. Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. She had to leave her family, her homeland, and her gods and go to the place of God’s blessing. Naomi should teach us to be careful about accepting the counsel of those who seem to be well meaning. She has chosen to permanently leave her homeland and family and to embrace Israel, the Israelites, and Israel’s God as her own, forever. 14-17. When Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped trying to get Ruth to return to her own parent’s home. In Bethlehem, the Lord allowed Ruth to remarry and give birth to a son named Obed, who became grandfather to King David. And so they, like Lot’s daughters (the oldest one in particular), devised a scheme whereby the line would be preserved, albeit apart from faith and obedience to God’s Word. His faithfulness to His people and to His covenant is at a time when His people are not faithful to Him and when they are living in disregard for His law. That person is a true Jew at heart. It would seem to be significant that Naomi told Ruth that Orpah had returned to her god. In the parable we are considering, Boaz represents the Lord Jesus Christ. 19 So the two of them journeyed together until they arrived in Bethlehem. Ruth would have none of this foolish talk, and she made this abundantly clear to her mother-in-law. The only hope Naomi sees for Orpah and Ruth is the hope of finding a Moabite husband and bearing children. For the Lord is afflicting me!”. Judah (through whom the messianic line would be traced) kept his third son from a Levirate marriage with the first son’s widow, and then had sex with a woman he thought was a cult prostitute.31 God not only preserved the messianic line, He was faithful to fulfill His (Abrahamic) covenant32 with Abraham. Surely you would not remain unmarried all that time! Ruth is never dealt with as a second-class believer. These are the times of darkness when godliness should shine forth as a brilliant light. God loves to show mercy and compassion. (v. 22) _____ Ruth 2 . Ruth would not only do this until death separated them, she would do so in death. 16 The expression, the Sovereign One (rendered “the Almighty” by most translations) is the term Shaddai. This, of course, is Naomi’s meaning. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name” (Genesis 12:1-3, emphasis mine). 4 So her sons married Moabite women. I can imagine how it alarmed and frightened Naomi when Elimelech died while they were sojourning in Moab. 1-3. In our text (as in Judges and everywhere else in Scripture), man looks bad, very bad, and God looks good, very good. In Esther, the people of God were supposed to return to the Promised Land, but they chose instead to dwell in the apparent peace and safety of Persia. And so Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem, just as the barley harvest started. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, 16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus (Romans 2:12-16, emphasis mine). The son of the oldest daughter was named Moab; the son of the younger daughter was named Ammon. They would be a reminder that Elimelech and Naomi had left Bethlehem when the going got tough. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. 4:4-7), 3. Answer: In Ruth 1, we read that the husband of Naomi died in the land of Moab. But it is not the essence of what our life in Christ is about. There we read of the Sodom-like immorality of some of the Benjamites in the city of Gibeah, which resulted in the near extinction of their tribe. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law(P) goodbye,(Q) but Ruth clung to her. and lifts up the needy from the garbage pile, 9 He makes the barren woman of the family. They entered the region of Moab and settled there. For the children of the desolate one are more numerous. So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung tightly to her. The crises of life are God’s pop quizzes, times when He puts our faith to the test, times when He gives us an opportunity to put our faith on display. Naomi is not at all like Ruth or Boaz; she is, in fact, a backdrop against which Ruth and Boaz are contrasted. Orpah and Ruth accompany her part of the way. We know from the Book of Ruth that they took this trip 2 times. Their ultimate blessing would have been to leave their land, their people, their false religion, and to identify with the Israelites and with their God. For my intense suffering is too much for you to bear. in 1971. It would also seem that Naomi’s barrenness was divinely imposed.18, (5) Moab was not the place of God’s promised blessings; Israel was.19. It was a good number of years ago that I sat in on an excellent elective class taught by my friend, Tom Wright. She was one who received God’s blessings because she blessed one of Abraham’s offspring by remaining with her and committing to care for her.28 Ruth was a woman who committed herself for a lifetime, and she did so in spite of her national pride, her family affections, the example of her sister-in-law, and the urgings of her mother-in-law. God has chosen to save Gentiles as well as Jews. Naomi’s hope was in the physical rather than in the spiritual, in the present rather than in eternity. Ruth Goes Out to Glean. I think I understand generally what Paul is saying here, based upon the promise in Jeremiah: 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. It is available on the Internet at: www.netbible.org. Once again I would suggest that Naomi’s strong urging for Ruth and Orpah to return was as much for her interests as for her daughters-in-law. Wouldn’t it be better for the two of them to travel together? Deut. Naomi, so to speak, put all of her eggs into one basket – marriage and bearing children. And both (at least initially) were committed to staying with Naomi, even if that meant immigrating to Israel. In spite of the fact that Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his two sons (Mahlon and Kilion) are living according to the spirit of their day (“doing what is right in their own eyes”), two people (Ruth and Boaz) stand out as examples of those who live by faith in the God of Israel, and whose lives exemplify living in accordance with God’s Word. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: ... What time of year did Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem? Upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, and access the NEW NIV Study Bible Notes, Fully Revised Edition. This is a text that has always puzzled me. 12 The word “new” is not in the original text. As I was studying our text for this message, it occurred to me that the text which describes the origin of the Moabites in Genesis 19 is a key to understanding the story of Ruth, and especially Naomi’s role in this account. Does mention pertains to marriage and bearing children, and thus there is no doubt that this a... The tyranny of the days when the going got tough commitment is not really a true.! Than trusting in God’s covenant promises by faith the urgent suddenly became obvious me. Been raised by parents who taught her the law of Moses isn’t enough ; must... Got tough sons died without bearing children to their circumstances, an Israelite or! Of Romans 2:12-16 has said so far prompted by Orpah’s decision to return to problem., just as the story of Ruth and Naomi return to her people, and advice were and... Who could become your husbands had opportunity to return to their ( false ) God ( s,... 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