Sometimes we people of the human race do things we do not exactly want to do or like to do to survive. Abraham left the Promised Land of Canaan when a famine came, and Hagar came back with him and Sarah (Genesis 12:10-20). Look at the heartaches, and sorrow that has brought on us all. We all do some things for which we are ashamed, and God forgives and delivers us who trust Him; but often not the consequences of our bad behavior, and actions.
The book of Ruth in the Bible is a very precious story of history and lineage of king David, and our Savior. Let us look at the first five verses…
“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.” Ruth 1:1-5 (KJV)
The events of Ruth – beginning to end – take place during the early part of the book of Judges. Remember that the judges were given by God to the people of Israel after they had become disobedient, rebellious, and began worshiping foreign gods – which were not gods – and when they would be troubled by plague, disease, famine, etc. then they would call on their God; and He would send them a Judge to deliver them (Judges 2:16). Certainly showing the love, mercy, and grace of God.
Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion went to Moab; a foreign land nearby, and they were an unholy bunch of people; ones associated with the curse Balaam because they were fearful of Israel, and their God. So they sought to curse them. You can read about Balaam in Numbers 22-25.
When we leave the place the Lord has promised us we will always be a hazard to people around us. Consider this. Elimelech probably went to Moab for his family; at least that was his reasoning. The country of Moab was rich and green, and Israel was in drought and famine. This wayward journey cost him his life, and the lives of his two sons.
This is a story of God’s love and grace. When we as Christians mess up, sin against God, and leave our promised position God is not finished with us. He sees the bigger picture. We only see the brush strokes; the aches, the pains the sorrows; and we can rest assured that God will get us where He desires us to be. It may be costly. It will be worth it.
The story ends with Ruth a Moabite woman; Naomi’s daughter in law in the Promised Land, and marrying the kinsman redeemer. There is redemption for all who will come to faith in Jesus Christ a descendant of Ruth – a Moabite – who became a faithful follower of YaHWeH [Jehovah]. Jesus is the ultimate Kinsman Redeemer having died on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and rising from the grave alive forevermore. Believe Him and you too will live.