The Story of Naomi's Family

Ruth 1‑4  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
Naomi and her husband Elime-lech and their two sons lived in the land of Israel. It was a time of famine in that land.
Elimelech looked out across the dry fields and worried because they did not have enough to eat. He decided to move his family to the land of Moab. But he did not ask God about this plan, and there was one thing he forgot. In the land of Moab where he chose to go, they worshipped idols and paid no attention at all to the commandments of the true God.
The move seemed good at first, but then Elimelech died, and Naomi and her two sons were left alone. The two boys grew up and married two nice girls from Moab named Orpah and Ruth.
But more trouble came. Naomi’s two sons died, and all that was left of the family was three lonely widows. What did they talk about now? I know one thing. Naomi told them about the God whom she had known in Israel, the country God had chosen for His people. And when she heard that God had filled the fields in Israel with grain for food, she decided to go back again. Ten years had not made her forget God.
Perhaps you heard about God years ago, but since then you have made all your own plans without Him. But God has sent pain and sickness and perhaps death into your life or your best friend’s life. He wants to bring you back to hear His Word again. Will you come? Will you listen?
The three widows set out together, and they had no choice but to walk. But it seems that Naomi hesitated to bring the two young widows back to her country. She thought they would be lonely and unhappy, and she urged them to go home again to their mothers. There were a lot of tears and kisses as the three stood together before parting, and then Orpah went home to her mother.
What happened to her next? God doesn’t say another word about her. She probably married again and went on worshipping idols and died without a Savior. There is no one but God, the true God of heaven and earth, who can forgive sins. “Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:77Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (Mark 2:7)). Will you go off into silence as Orpah did, far from the God who loves you?
But Ruth hugged Naomi and would not let her go on to Israel alone. Ruth wanted Naomi for keeps, and she wanted the God whom Naomi had told her about. Nothing would make her stay in Moab.
It was a good choice for Ruth, and for you too! There is only one God who loves you and who can plan for your future far better than you can yourself. Cling to Him, and let nothing turn you away!
Naomi and Ruth came at last to the land of Judah in Israel and found that the harvest was just beginning in the fields. The people recognized Naomi and welcomed her back to their land and to all the customs that God had lovingly planned for them.
One custom was that the poor could go into the fields of the rich, after the reapers had left with their loads, and pick up any grain left behind. God had a secret plan for Ruth, and so she happened to pick up grain in the field of a rich man named Boaz. He was one of Naomi’s relatives.
Boaz noticed Ruth right away, and he asked questions about her. He was told that she was the young widow who came back from Moab with Naomi. He might have been disgusted with someone from Moab, but God controls the hearts of people. He did then, and He does now. You don’t have to be an important person to be noticed, if you let God plan for you. Boaz came right over and made Ruth welcome. He told her to drink from the cool water that his workers had brought from the well, and he also told the reapers to drop extra grain for her as they carried it away.
It only got better for Ruth. He told her to sit with his reapers for lunch, and he served her more than enough food. And finally, he really wanted to marry her.
But there was one reason why he couldn’t, and it was written in the law of God. There was a closer relative who had the right to marry Ruth. What could Boaz do?
And did you know that Jesus loves you and wants you to share heaven with Him, but there is a reason why you can’t? You are a sinner. You have disobeyed God. What can God do?
Perhaps you know the answer. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)). He sent His Son Jesus to go to Calvary’s cross in your place. It was there Jesus took the punishment for the sins of any sinner who will accept Him as Savior. This, and nothing else, opens the way for Him to bring you to His home forever.
And there was only one thing Boaz could do. He talked to the other relative. He asked this man if he wished to marry Ruth, and the man said he couldn’t because it would spoil his own inheritance.
Now Boaz was free to marry Ruth, and he was a mighty man of wealth. The blessings really piled up for Ruth, but I will let you read them yourself in the Book of Ruth in the Bible.
Do you see what happens when you let God make your choices? Not all the blessings come today. The best are reserved for eternity, and eternity is forever. If you are already saved, do let Him plan for you!
“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried [tested]: He is a buckler [shield] to all them that trust in Him” (2 Samuel 22:3131As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)).