In the days of the Judges, a famine arose in the land of Bethlehem of Judah. A man named Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to the land of Moab and they stayed there. Elimelech died and left Naomi with her two sons. They both married women from Moab. Their names were Ruth and Orpah. After ten years, Mahlon and Chilion died. Their wives survived.
Naomi heard that the famine had left the land of Judah, so she packed to go back to her people. She went out to return to Bethlehem. She told her daughters-in-law return to their people, because she had no way for them to find another husband. She kissed them and they wept. Orpah stayed in Moab, but Ruth went with Naomi. She pledged her love to Naomi in a poem that is sometimes used in weddings.
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or from turning back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
Where you die, I will die.
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”
Naomi and Ruth went to Bethlehem. When they reached the city, the people rejoiced to see Naomi. She said, “Do not call me Naomi, but Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.” Naomi means bitter.
They arrive in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Naomi had a wealthy relative name Boaz. Ruth asked Naomi’s permission to go and glean the fields for food. God sent her to glean in the field of Boaz. He told his workers to take care of Ruth and let her glean all she wants. She worked hard all day and maybe several days. Boaz invited her to share a meal with him. He noticed she saved some food to take home to Naomi.
Naomi told Ruth to prepare herself and go to the threshing floor after Boaz had eaten and drank and made merry. When she found him asleep, she quietly uncovered his feet and laid there until he awoke. At midnight he moved and discovered Ruth. He asked who she was. She told him her name was Ruth, his maidservant. He praised her greatly and said all the town knew her virtue. He told her he was her relative, but there was one closer.
He asked the man who was a closer relative if he wanted to redeem Ruth, but he said he couldn’t or he would lose his own inheritance. So Boaz redeemed the land for Naomi and Ruth. Everyone at the gate witnessed the redemption and Boaz married Ruth.
The witnesses said, “The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel: and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from the young woman.”
The genealogy of Perez:
Perez begat Hezron
Hezron begat Ram
Ram begat Amminadab
Amminadab begat Nahshon
Nahshon begat Salmon
Salmon begat Boaz
Boaz begat Obed
Obed begat Jesse
Jesse begat David
Although Ruth was a Moabite woman, she was in the line of David which made her a woman in the line of Jesus. God greatly honored her because of her loyalty to Naomi.
Ruth did the right thing for her mother-in-law. Boaz honored her for her sacrifice. Boaz loved her in spite of the fact that she was not Jewish.
My conclusion to my original question as it relates to the women in the Old Testament books of Judges and Ruth.
Just like now, some woman have a blessed life with a wonderful family and others have to struggle through life.
No one has a perfect life and there are hard times, but for those woman, especially Christians, who have a good life, we need help those who don’t.
We also need to share Jesus.