Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
Right off the bat, a man named Elimelek and his wife Naomi and their two sons leave Bethlehem and go to live in Moab to escape the devastation of famine. Elimelek ends up dying, leaving Naomi and her two sons. The two sons, Mahlon and Kilion marry Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other named Ruth. After about ten years, Both Mahlon and Kilion die also. This leaves Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth. Life as a widow was extremely rough… on top of having lost their husbands, these women were now considered some of the lowest of the low in the eyes of society. Naomi, hoping to give them a chance at remarrying and having a better life, releases Orpah and Ruth to go back to their people in Moab. Orpah leaves to return to the Moabites, but Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law. Ruth and Naomi return to Bethlehem once the famine is declared over. Once in Bethlehem, Naomi realizes that her late husband has a relative in the area, a well-off bachelor named “Boaz”. Ruth meets Boaz, and through humility and tactful persistence, she gains favor in his eyes. Boaz is considered the guardian-redeemer to the land that Naomi is selling on behalf of her late husband (since widows were not permitted to own land. Boaz gains the land and takes Ruth to be his wife, and becomes like a son to Naomi.
What is one key verse?
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
Even as Naomi and Ruth were left as widows (not an ideal position in society at the time), God provided Ruth with the opportunity to pull them up to a more secure situation by marrying Boaz. God allows us to face tough situations so that we may see how weak we are without Him, and learn to depend on Him not only for how he blesses us in life, but even just by the hope that He gives us on a daily basis.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I always read this book and am convicted by Ruth’s steadfast loyalty to Naomi, and her willingness to stay by her side through the rough road ahead of them. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be willing to stand by each other through the muddy times in life, even if it means sitting right next to them in the mud so they don’t feel so alone.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I’ve started this habit where when I catch myself complaining, I think of three things that I’m grateful for. I think I can twist this to view silver linings in seemingly-bad situations. If a situation isn’t ideal, I can stop and think of three different ways that God can work through that situation, to either bless me or others through it.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Boaz was the guardian-redeemer for Naomi and Ruth. He stepped up and claimed the land, and basically rescued Ruth and Naomi from further ruin. Jesus did basically the same thing for is on the cross. We were slaves to sin, but then our mighty Guardian-redeemer stepped up for us and claimed us for Himself by dying on the cross for us. Now we are destined for a happier ending because of His love.