Message: Breaking the Status Quo
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 35:1-10.
Read: Ruth 1:1-5 - As you read in the ESV translation, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: The story Ruth and Naomi is one that cuts to the chase. Within the first five verses, an entire story in itself takes place. Elimelech takes his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to the land of Moab. They were from Bethlehem in Judah and moved to the land of Moab. Many Old Testament authors do not paint the prettiest pictures of Moab:
Amos 2:2: “So I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth, and Moab shall die amid uproar, amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;”
Isaiah 15:1: “An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone.”
Jeremiah 48:20: “Moab is put to shame, for it is broken; wail and cry! Tell it beside the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste.”
This was not a nice family vacation or upgraded relocation for Elimilech and his family. This was out of pure desperation; an immigration to a foreign place with different culture, food, way of life, and a different god. This family from Bethlehem moved out of pure desperation to stay alive.
Naomi ends up losing everything. Her husband and her sons. She is left with Moabite daughters-in-law. In the culture of those days, she had nowhere else to turn, but to return home, empty.
Respond: Pray for direction.
Research: Look up a map of this time and the journey that Naomi, Elimelech, and their sons probably took to get from Bethlehem to Moab. Find verses in the Bible that reference Moab.