Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ruth: Loss to Legacy

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Week One – Day 3WK01D03

Read Ruth 1:6-14              SOAP Ruth 1:8

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. 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. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

O – Naomi heard that the Lord had “visited” His people and that there was food back in Judah.  So, she decided to go back to her homeland, bringing her daughters-in-law with her.  As they started, Naomi told them to go back to their homeland – to their mother’s houses, and to “find rest” in a husband.  She also mentions their care for her – for she added, “May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.”  She released them – acknowledging their love for her and their dead husbands.  But – they refused.  They declared that they would continue on with her.

But Naomi had arguments for why they should return to their homeland.  Naomi was too old to have a husband again and have children – thus fulfilling the Hebrew law or tradition of a widow marrying her husband’s brother in order to continue the family line.  Obviously – they couldn’t wait for a “brother” of their husband to be born and to get old enough for them to marry – EVEN IF Naomi could have more children!  So – would they NOT marry again?  Besides, God had dealt bitterly with her – would they really want to share in that?  Was she “releasing “ them – or did she not want them to go back to Bethlehem with her – the proof that her family’s time in Moab resulting in the sons marrying Moabite women??

Whatever the case, she blessed and released them.  Orpah kissed Naomi, but Ruth “clung to her.”    In Constables Notes, it says, “Ruth clung to Naomi. The Hebrew word for “clung to” is dabaq, which elsewhere refers to the ideal closeness that can be experienced in a marriage relationship (cf. Gen. 2:24).[41] Ruth determined to stick to her mother-in-law as closely as a husband would cleave to his wife (cf. James 1:27). (Lumina)

A – What is my take-away from today?

Naomi’s comment to Ruth gave testimony of their relationship:   May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.”  (v. 8)  This is from a mother-in-law – who watched Ruth daily as she not only cared for her husband before he died, and Ruth’s care for her, a widow in a foreign country.  Later on in the chapter, Ruth “clung” to Naomi – she “stuck with” Naomi, just as closely as a wife would cling to her husband.  Was she obligated to do this?  I think her care of Naomi came from her heart, not just from obligation.

What is my care for others?   For my own mother?  For family?  For my husband?  Is it a “stuck to” care?  Is it based on love – or obligation?  Marrying into a grown family brings its own set of  relationships.  Do I have that same kind of love to ALL my family?  Oh, may my kindness, my love, my generosity – be as Ruth’s!

P – Father God, work within my heart today – to be kind, and generous, and loving to OUR family.   Help me to see needs, and work to meet them.  Help me to bring comfort, and care, and encouragement to our children, and grandchildren – and family members.  Work in my heart – help me to see, to hear, and to do – what YOU desire.  May I reflect Your love today.  Amen.

The Lord Bless You and Keep You – Octarium –


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