This post is Day 2 in a series of studies about “Hope”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Hope – Day 2
In the book of Ruth, Elimelek had emigrated full of hope but his hopes were dashed. And his widow was left with her two sons who went very much against family tradition when they took Moabite wives. But one wife turned out to be the saving grace for the family.
Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me — even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons…
The first chapter of the short book of Ruth, opens with sadness and frustration. Elimelek had felt compelled to leave his home in Bethlehem, where there was famine, and take his family to a foreign land; Moab.
There he died and his sons both took Moabite wives. The origin of the Moabites is interesting. Moab was the son of one of Lot’s daughters who, out of fear of being childless, got her father to drink too much then slept with him (Genesis 19:37). The Moabites were a thorn in the flesh of the Israelites for a very long time. Lot’s other daughter did the same thing, and the father of the Ammonites was born (Genesis 19:38)!
Those sins had long lasting consequences!
In the book of Ruth, Elimelek had emigrated full of hope but his hopes were dashed. His widow was left with her two sons who went very much against family tradition when they took Moabite wives. But one of these wives turned out to be the saving grace for the family. Ruth refused to leave Naomi. Once the famine was over in Judah, she journeyed with Naomi all the way back to Bethlehem where Naomi’s dreams were finally fulfilled.
Read the 4 short chapters of Ruth today. Imagine the hopelessness that Naomi felt when her husband and sons all died, and there was no provider for her small family. There was no hope of any offspring.
Imagine the joy of her homecoming when she was recognised in Bethlehem. But also her sadness at not coming back with a good report.
Pray for any you know who feel that they have no hope in these times.
Remind yourself that there is always hope with The Lord. He has good plans for each of us, as we read yesterday (Jeremiah 29:11).
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