Oh, silly people. You thought I forgot about Ruth, didn’t you? You thought that I would be sooo up to my ears in baseball that I wouldn’t remember to read my Bible and do a little digging around in the Book of Ruth. Well….you are wrong. I’m back and I’m ready to jump in with both feet.
So…Ruth. (if she were small, we could call her Baby Ruth…but then I would just want candy). Ok. NAOMI is married to an Israelite named Elimelech and has two sons. Right off the bat the story begins with Elimelech and NAOMI and da boys leaving Bethlehem because of a famine and going to Moab. Now, normally this would sound ok. They would pack up their U-Haul and go…but if you fall back into Genesis 19:30-38, the beginnings of the Moabites was…..ugly. “Lot” (a dad) took his daughters and fled to the mountains after the the whole Sodom and Gomorrah debacle….(another story for another time). Anywho…his daughters and he lived in this cave for awhile and quite obviously they had a little too much time on their hands. They said to each other, “Oh no! Pops is the only man around and we will never have babies!” See where this is going? “Let’s get him drunk and LAY (eeeww) with him so we can PRESERVE the family tree”. Ok. There obviously wasn’t Facebook or Twitter around back then so they got bored a little too quickly and decided that they needed to take matters into their own hands. Apparently they didn’t think that God’s hands were big enough.
So they girls get pregnant and the first child came and called him Moab (hence the fact that he was the first Moabite. The other daughter had a son also and called him Ben-Ammi and he was the first of the Ammonites. Bad seed.
So here is Elimelech and the fam going to a country that God is NOT in favor of (see Deut. 23:3-6 and Judges 3:12-14). It’s not like they are Americans traveling to Canada….this is an ENEMY of Israel! So, Hooray, Elimelech for taking care of your family!!! But, oooopsy! You’re going the wrong way!!! They left Bethlehem, part of the promised land of Canaan, and went to a land that the Lord had commanded His children not to be in relationship with.
I’m seeing trouble ahead…..I think that in just these first few verses of Ruth that we are to see that even though we are in a bad spot … God is there with us and we are to stay right where we are. STAND FIRM. Kelley Minter (author) says, “It is always more blessed to be under the care of His will than anywhere else — no matter how green the grass or bountiful the walnut trees.”
Tomorrow we can find out what happens because of their disobedience. (unless you read ahead like me….)