The story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible holds lots of truths and carries several moral lessons that we, as Christians, can glean and learn from. It opens with a typical family reality and the ups and downs that one or a family can go through. The rest is filled with valuable instructions on how we respond or can deal with certain issues or situations when we face them.
Step into the extraordinary world of Ruth and Naomi, where an inspiring tale of devotion unfolds before us. In this captivating narrative, we witness the unbreakable bond between these two remarkable women, whose story has stood the test of time. Their story is about unwavering faith, sacrificial love, and remarkable resilience.
The story of Ruth and Naomi is a powerful reminder that no matter the challenges we face, with devotion by our side, we can overcome anything.
Where is the story of Ruth and Naomi in the bible?
The story of Ruth and Naomi is found in the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically in the Book of Ruth. The Book of Ruth is the eighth book in the order of the Hebrew bible and is traditionally placed after the Book of Judges and before the Book of Samuel.
It comprises four chapters that narrate the events surrounding Ruth and Naomi, their relationship, and the providential events that unfold in their lives. It is also one of the two female-named books in the bible, Ruth and Esther.
A relatively small book but full of practical understanding of how we as Christians, especially Christian women, can grow through challenges, nurture, and value our human relationships and experiences that we have with each other. Depending on God, trusting in His sovereignty and plans for our lives as we follow and yield our ways to Him.
What is the moral of the story of Ruth and Naomi?
Within the story of Naomi and Ruth in the Bible, we uncover profound morals that continue to resonate with our lives today. As we delve into their narrative, we encounter key morals and principles that inspire and guide us on our own faith journeys.
Discover the key morals embedded within the story of Naomi and Ruth. From unwavering loyalty and devotion to the transformative power of kindness and compassion. Their journey teaches us to trust in divine providence and embrace redemption and second chances. Above all, their tale highlights the importance of inclusion and acceptance.
- Loyalty and devotion: Ruth’s unwavering loyalty and commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, is a strong moral lesson in the story. It shows the virtue of loyalty and the importance of standing by your loved ones during difficult times. Ruth 1:16-17.
- Kindness and compassion: Ruth’s actions exemplify kindness and compassion as she selflessly cares for Naomi, providing for their needs and showing empathy. This emphasizes the significance of showing kindness to others, particularly those who are vulnerable or in need. Ruth 1:16, Ruth 2:2.
- Trusting in divine providence: The story also highlights the belief in divine guidance and providence. Ruth’s faith and trust in God’s plan for her life are rewarded, as she eventually finds happiness and fulfillment. Ruth 2:11-12.
- Redemption and second chances: The story of Ruth and Naomi showcases the lesson of redemption. Ruth, a Moabite widow, is given a second chance at life and love through her marriage to Boaz, and their union becomes part of the lineage of King David and ultimately Jesus Christ. Ruth 3:18, 4:6, 8-9,10a,13.
- Inclusion and acceptance: The Book of Ruth emphasises the acceptance and integration of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures. The Israelite community embraced Ruth, a Moabite woman, and she became an integral part of their society. This act by her new community encourages the value of inclusivity and acceptance of others.
What is the relationship between Ruth and Naomi?
The initial relationship between Ruth and Naomi begins with them being in-laws. Ruth married Naomi’s son, Mahlon, Ruth 4:10. When both women lost their husbands, they now share a common situational challenge, that is becoming widows. Also, as a daughter-in-law, Ruth dearly loved and cared for her mother-in-law and became like a daughter to Naomi.
When they eventually move from Moab to Israel, she becomes like her birth daughter because of the level of dedication Ruth shows towards her mother-in-law, Naomi. And because of her readiness to listen and be guided by her into gaining a new relationship leading to marriage.
Their relationship can be described as one that evolves through pain and hardship and later blossoms into a bond that becomes unbreakable. This can be seen through the wise and careful advice Naomi gives Ruth on how to win Boaz’s affection and attention, who later becomes their kinsman redeemer.
A relationship built on trust, not in themselves but in God, a heart of kindness and devotion towards each other, and above all, a relationship that only God could have orchestrated from Israel to Moab and back to Israel again.
Why did Ruth stay with Naomi?
One can easily conclude that Ruth stayed with Naomi because she thought of the prospects of what she could gain going to another nation, since her home country had only brought her grief and pain with the loss of her husband.
Or that Ruth was a genuinely wonderful lady that wanted to do right by her mother-in-law by staying with her, an elderly old widow because she was married to her son once and has become a part of Naomi’s family for life.
However, I believe Ruth stayed with Naomi because she, as an individual, had some character traits that distinguished her as a person and an individual.
Ruth’s 10 defining characteristics:
- Devotion – wanting to go to Naomi’s country, Israel.
- Dedication – listening to Naomi for advice and instructions on how and where to glean food from and to take care of the elderly widow.
- Kindness – offering to go into the community’s farms to glean food for her mother-in-law and herself.
- Loyalty – her desire to still be with Naomi though her husband, Naomi’s son, is dead and there’s nothing to keep her by Naomi’s side.
- Compassion and empathy – her desire to be wherever Naomi will be even till their dying days.
- Love – her honor for her mother-in-law, even though Naomi had nothing to give her now that her son was dead.
- Respect – her response to both Naomi and Boaz in the respective cases of service to them.
- Faith – her faith and trust in the God of the Israelites, Naomi’s God, to guide and keep her in a strange land she was going to.
- Gentleness – her desire to be guided and learn from Naomi on how to conduct herself in the new community she finds herself in now.
- Courage – Ruth’s courage manifested in her willingness to step into the unknown, leaving behind familiarity and security, as she embarked on a journey with Naomi, displaying unwavering bravery in the face of uncertainty.
These traits exhibited by Ruth exemplify some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit as we know it. And as Christians, we are called to walk and exhibit these traits of the Holy Spirit wherever we find ourselves. All these characteristics are combined in the concept of Biblical womanhood.
Ruth, a Moabite, presumably did not have any knowledge of the “I AM” or might have heard of Him (God Almighty) through her husband, brother-in-law, or her mother-in-law. Having had no encounter or understanding of the dealings of God, the God of the Israelites, she, as a person, seems to show by these traits a little resemblance of what any dignified human being should look or be like.
Why is the story of Ruth and Naomi important?
The story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible is very important because of the powerful exemplary virtues of steadfast love, faithfulness, kindness, loyalty, and trust, among other outstanding traits it teaches us. Hence, the story’s importance cannot be overemphasised.
It is a tale about two widows, Ruth and Naomi, who (in summary) faced challenges and difficulties but remained faithful to each other and to God. They knew God is the God Who Sees Me, even if others abandoned them.
The reasons the story of Ruth and Naomi is important is the virtue of:
- Steadfast love it teaches. This reminds me of the song, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases”. That unmovable and unshakable stance and feeling you have because you know God will come through for you no matter what.
- Faithfulness is also highlighted strongly. Here is a young widow who had her whole life ahead of her but still chooses to follow her old widowed mother-in-law to care and serve her till death.
- The quality of kindness is also clear in Ruth’s personality. This Moabite woman exemplifies this quality as she accompanies her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Bethlehem after the death of their husbands.
- Ruth’s loyalty and commitment to Naomi, as well as her willingness to leave her own family and culture to stay with Naomi, are admirable traits that highlight the power of love and devotion.
- Trust in God’s plan. Despite facing many obstacles and uncertainties, Ruth and Naomi remained faithful to God and trusted that He would provide for them. This trust and reliance on God’s provision is ultimately rewarded as Ruth meets and marries Boaz, a wealthy landowner who becomes their kinsman-redeemer. She received a New Beginning from God because she trusted Him.
Overall, the story of Ruth and Naomi teaches us important lessons like the power of loyalty, faithfulness, steadfast love, and kindness, as well as the importance of trusting in God’s plan for our lives.
What is the summary of the story of Ruth and Naomi?
The story of these two widows, Ruth and Naomi, can be summed up as women who faced challenges and difficulties but remained faithful to each other and to God. Ruth and Naomi were real women, who survived life’s hardships and progressed.
The story of Ruth and Naomi brings to the fore some practical truths about life and living it. It shows us the need to be kind, value intimate relationships, and have a sense of loyalty. To trust in God amid tragedies and challenging circumstances and allow God to use them to unfold His providential grace and care for us.
Upholding each other and being there for each other, these widows surmount their struggles and come out strong and with brilliant success. It portrays the themes of loyalty, kindness, redemption, and God’s providential care, emphasising the importance of faithfulness and the unexpected blessings that can come from challenging circumstances.
Prayer for the character traits of Ruth and Naomi
Thank You, Lord God, for the gift of life. I am grateful for the strength you give me in any seemingly tough challenge and hard times. Help me cultivate the character traits, as in the story of Ruth and Naomi.
Please grant me more grace and strength to trust in You, Your plans for me and to be a better version of myself always with the help of the Holy Spirit to the people in my life and all around me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
GUEST BLOG BY JOYCELYN IGIRI
Joycelyn Akua Blosi Igiri is an English and Sociology major graduate from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. She is a teacher by heart and profession but currently a ‘stay-at-home’ mom of three, with a part-time work from home gigs like proofreading, editing, and copywriting. She is a mompreneur!
Joycelyn is a healthy eating and wellness enthusiast who loves gardening, cooking, reading, and watching inspiring movies. She is an encourager!