Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ruth 1~Where do we go when life gets tough?

Happy Thursday! Welcome back to those that are joining us via email, on Facebook and here on this blog. If you have Facebook and would like to connect with this group there, be sure to to add yourself by clicking here because we'd love to "meet" you.

Ready to dig into Ruth 1? I've been excited for today!

We know Naomi knows God/Yahweh/Jehovah.
"He that is"=old testament name for God

Chapter one sheds light on attributes of the Lord. He:
  • comes to peoples aid-vs. 6
  • provides food.-vs.6
  • shows kindness.-vs. 8
  • can turn against us.-vs. 13
  • God is a personal God.-vs. 16
  • has control of our lives-vs. 17
  • the Lord can bring affliction-vs. 21
Key Words
Elimelich=God is King
Naomi=pleasant one
Bethlehem=house of bread
Mara="sea of bitterness

Where do we go when life gets tough?

We will answer this question for ourselves.

I mentioned last week that we may have always looked at Ruth as a sweet story of faithfulness and love, but it is so much more and it applies to our daily lives!

2 questions:
1. Like Elimelich and Naomi, do you find yourself in a land of famine?
...Famine in your soul
...with your finances relationships
...or just life in general

2. If so, do you turn to God or do you look for places where the grass is greener (Moab)?

This chapter shows us a family looking for a place where the grass seems greener. We can learn soooo much from then as they left a famine in the "house of bread" for "God's washpot."

"Moab is My washpot reduced to vilest servitude...." Psalm 60:8
(Thank you to Melanie who is following along online and brought this scripture to our attention last week.)
A washpot was the dirty water left in a basin after people washed their feet. And think! These are the feet of people that walked everywhere. Those were some DIRTY feet!

Lesson for us in FAMINE:
1. a severe shortage of food, as through crop failure or overpopulation
2. acute shortage of anything
3. violent hunger

In Scripture:
We see Naomi has already gone once and then goes again to where the grass seems greener.
It is always a challenge when we experience famine in our land or soul to try not to move to place of more comfort.

In Scripture:
Naomi decides to leave Moab when she hears that Bethlehem is having ample crops. Upon her return, people greet her and she mentions she left that land full but is returning empty.
Question--Didn't she go Moab to BE full? Ended up the spiritual devastation of Moab had  the opposite effect and made her spiritually empty.
It is possible that when WE are trying to make our life better without seeking God that we become empty and experience a darkness that is like no other.

Lessons for us in GRIEF:
Naomi was grieving. She lost her husband and two sons. I think that Naomi had an emptiness because she had lived in a godless land and she had lost her family. She needed a base of support and a relationship with a living God that she had previously known in her life.

I can relate to Naomi's grief on two levels through the loss of my own son. One, YOU don't want to be with yourself so you can't imagine why anyone else would want to be with you. Two, you don't want to be in the condition you are in. Hardship and grief have a way of causing you to depend on God for everything in this life because He becomes your complete strength.

Naomi returns and the harvest of barley was the first crop harvested in the spring. Barley is the only grain that will survive a drought. Hence it is known as "the overcomer."

When we come to Jesus empty as Naomi returned to Bethlehem empty, he becomes our overcomer. Isn't that a beautiful picture!?!?

Today, Naomi has taught us:
  • It is possible to know God and not experience all He has for us.
  • It is possible to exist fruitlessly in a land of our choosing.
  • He is our light in a dark situation.
  • What an example of faith can be to our family and others around us.
  • Faith in a living God changes everything.
Ruth has taught us:
  • Don' t settle for what you've always known if it's not helping you grow.
  • Being faithful to God brings blessing and makes you full.
How does this change you?
Where do you go when life gets tough?

For next week:
Where do we turn when we are empty?
Read chapter 2
What does it say?
What does it mean?
What does it tell you about God?
What do you learn from Ruth?
How does it apply to you?

God  bless you!


  1. My favorite part of today was about the barley being the only crop that survives a crop therefore it's known as the overcomer--and Jesus is our Overcomer.

    Also, I don't think it's on here but at Bible Study, the part about what sincere means and that what it means to have a sincere faith. You should mention that.

  2. i meant crop that survives a drought. sorry...tired!

  3. The meaning of barley was something I hadn't seen before. It is so wonderful to think that when we experience famine in our lives that Jesus, our Overcomer, helps us survive.
    2 timothy 1:5 talks about sincere faith. The word for sincere means without wax. It is the picture of a pot without cracks. When a pot had cracks it was repaired with wax. We need to pray for each other that we will be people with sincere faith. If Naomi had a sincere faith she might not have ended up in Moab.