Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Introductory Thoughts

The book of Ruth tells the story of a family torn apart by death and how God miraculously worked behind the scenes. Ruth, a Moabite, married a Jew who was the son of Elimelech and his wife Naomi. Over time while they resided in Moab, Naomi’s husband and both of her sons died. After their deaths, Naomi determined to return to the land of Judah. She discouraged both Ruth and Orpah (her daughters-in-law) from returning with her since she felt that she had nothing to offer them. Each had to decide whether to go with Naomi or stay with their families in the land of Moab and serve their false gods. Orpah decided to stay, while Ruth chose to go with Naomi. At the time, Ruth’s decision seemed senseless. Yet, all those who read the book of Ruth know the blessings associated with this one wisely crafted decision. Ruth came to Bethlehem at the right time (Ruth 1:22), married a great man named Boaz (Ruth 4:13), and God allowed her to become part of the lineage of King David and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ruth 4:17; Matthew 1:5). Wow! Now, that is where the phrase “happy ending” was truly coined.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Every day, missionaries leave their friends and family to travel to faraway lands simply to tell people about the Lord. These are very difficult decisions and not everyone agrees with them. What good can come from such a decision?
  • (For everyone): Do you think that Ruth’s decision to go was easier than Orpah’s decision to stay? Why or why not? Which one made the right choice? What happened to Orpah after she decided to stay? What happened to Ruth?
  • What would Ruth have missed had she decided to stay in Moab? Is it possible that you will miss some blessings if you fail to make wise choices and correct decisions?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you see the long-term effects of your present decisions.
  • Pray that He will give you the wisdom to make the right choices, even when they are difficult to make.