While the content is very similar, the written transcript varies slightly from the podcast. I am trusting you will be blessed in whichever format you choose to enjoy the Word through!
God bless you and welcome to BlenCouragesU! Last month, a few of my friends and I thought we’d do a Bible study on Periscope, and the Lord led me to the book of Ruth. You may be thinking, “seriously–Old Testament?” “This same story?” Trust me, there are some nuggets here! I know I found a few that paralleled MANY of my life situations! To prepare, read though Ruth chapter 1 and then we’ll dig in.
Background: This was a time when Israel was pretty disobedient. In fact, Judges 17:6 says “and there was no king in Israel, but everyone did what was right on their own eyes.” (Times sure have not changed much). So a consequence here was Israel was experiencing a famine in the land, so Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion move to Moab.
So–what’s Moab got to do with anything? This is significant because Moab had oppressed the Israelites for eighteen years under the leadership of king Eglon, (Judges 3:12-14), ON top of the fact, when the children of Israel were fleeing Egypt, Moab would not feed them, AND the Moabites hired a prophet, Balaam to curse the children of Israel (Numbers 22:1-6 and Deuteronomy 23:3-5). In fact, verse 6 of Deuteronomy said: “you shall not seek their [Moab’s] peace or prosperity all your days forever.” With all this history and direct command from God, Elimelich moved his family. Anyway. Not so fast, family! How many times have we directly disobeyed God for something we needed, but did not trust He would supply..maybe out of curiosity, fear, desperation, no other way out? I just told one of my young people, God would never tell you to do something bad to get something good.
Situation: After a space of time, Naomi’s husband, Elimelech dies and her sons marry Moab natives Orpah and Ruth. After ten years, the sons pass away, leaving Naomi, Ruth and Orpah destitute widows.
So, they were widows…why is that important? In biblical times (and in many homes today) men provided for their wives and families–and they did that well. Widowhood at that time is not like now–we have life insurance (well, we should–if not, please invest today) and many women work outside the home, so they can help/provide for themselves. At the that time, even if a widow did work, she was often fleeced, neglected, and overlooked. God, in His infinite wisdom set up a law that said the widow must marry the next of kin on the deceased husbands’s side of the family. But…think about it…who would be related to Elimelech in Moab? No one. And after so many years, what relative would be alive back home? How could they find not one, but three relatives? Hence Naomi’s impassioned plea for her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and start over as she prepared to go back to Judah. Orpah took Naomi’s advice and went back to “her people and her gods”. Ruth insisted on staying citing, she would stay, worship Naomi’s God and be her family until death.
Relationships: I’m sure Orpah loved her mother-in-law, yet despite knowing the laws, situation and what hardships were ahead of the elder woman, Orpah still chose to leave Naomi to fend for herself. While we may chide her for doing so, in all honesty, how many of us would take on in-laws or other members of the family indefinitely? (As God directs, of course). Would we do it lovingly, or automatically think of the extra work, inconvenience and responsibility involved? While the Word does not tell us Orpah’s thoughts, she clearly left Naomi to fend for herself.
Well family, this is a good place to stop, reflect and meditate on what the Word of God has revealed in our hearts, and more importantly, to talk with the Lord on how to apply the Word in our lives, with His help. I’m going to part here so we can all take the time to do just that. Lord will, when we get together next time, we’ll finish up Ruth 1, starting around verse 16, make our way to the end of the chapter, and prepare for Ruth 2.
I trust this study was a blessing to you as much as it was to me! If so, please take a moment to give us a thumbs up, share and comment–we’d love to hear from you! Thanks SO much and may God bless you for stopping by, and until next time, #StayOnTheWall.