Back to Bethlehem

Dec 3, 2023    Lewis Roderick

Beginning a new series, we were taken to the story of Ruth. Fleeing a famine in Israel, a man called Elimelech took his family and fled to Moab – the territory of the enemies of Israel in that time. His two sons marry Moabite women – one of which is Ruth. After many years of hunger and death, Naomi (Elimelech's widow-wife and Ruth's mother-in-law) hears that God has been merciful with Israel and given them food. Being worn out, broken, bitter and about to make her way back to Israel, she tells her daughter's in law to abandon her and find someone to marry. Ruth clings to Naomi and clings to her God. All Ruth knows about Yahweh is that he feeds the undeserving and that is enough for her to leave her home and go to Bethlehem with Naomi. The first chapter leaves us with several questions: Is there hope for a bitter heart like that of Naomi? Is there a kinsman-redeemer to marry Ruth and continue the name of Elimelech? It leaves us with a promise as well: In Bethlehem, prodigals are welcomed home. Is it time for you to come home?