Ruth, loyal daughter-in-law to Naomi
Sometimes, God allows me to do my own thing when I want to remember or get a better understanding of a particular story in the Bible. I often look for key words or draw the storyline on paper; like when God is building a wall that specifically describes each right and left turn or the particular distance a character travels and which side of the city he/she decides to settle in. I’ve learned that by doing this it helps me know in advance whether the construction or trip will bring feast or famine for the laborers or travelers.
This method of study was put into motion while reading just a few short verses in the Book of Ruth. “In the days when the judges ruled...” was my first clue. If judges were needed, then God’s people are making poor decisions and everybody is doing as they see fit. In this case, Naomi’s husband, Elimelek was guilty. Next, “…there was a famine in the land.” Now, whenever there is a famine in the land, it indicates that nobody is calling upon the Name of God and/or everybody is disobeying God’s Word. In other words, nobody is ‘eating’ God’s Word. So, without saying so, the story is indicating to me that Elimelek did not consult God before making his decision to relocate to Moab. “So a man from Bethlehem in Judah,…” why on God’s green earth would a man of God want to leave Bethlehem, which means ‘house of bread’ and go to a place called Moab without praying about it first? Don’t forget, Moab was the name of Lot’s first-born son by his own daughter! (Not a good union.)
So, since the Book of Ruth only consisted of four chapters, I decided to set it to rhyme.
“Naomi’s Adversities Became Ruth’s University” (A poetic synopsis of Chapter One)
Naomi was an Israelite pilgrim, depicted in the Book of Ruth. She shared the biblical storyline with a Moabites who came to know Truth.
Naomi, her husband, Elimelek, along with two sickly sons, left their home in Bethlehem-Judah in search of a distant, far away region.
What necessitated this journey? Why did a famine engulf their land? Was God punishing His people? An unruly, stubborn and immoral clan.
Eventually, all arrived safely in Moab, a land situated east of the Dead Sea. But not long afterwards Elimelek died and what was once four became three.
Now, as the story goes, in due season, sons Mahlon and Chilion married. One wife was Orpha, the other Ruth. Still ten years later both women were barren.
Death came calling claiming both boys, just as it had claimed their father. Alone, Naomi sat to grieve and fret, her comfort: just two Moabite daughters.
By and by Naomi regained her strength and decided to return to Bethlehem. The Lord had lifted the famine, and both daughters desired to go with her to give her a hand.
Naomi insisted that they not follow, but return to live with their own kin. She thanked them for their loyalty and prayed new husbands they’d win.
So Orpha kissed Naomi and said, adieu, but Ruth wept and clung mightily. Ruth said, “Where you go I will go, your people and your God are mine, too.”
The two ladies arrived at Bethlehem to warm greetings from far and near. ‘Mara’ was the name Naomi chose to reintroduce herself to her peers.
God had dealt very bitterly by taking her husband and two sons. She had to bury them down in Moab, she couldn’t bring them home to Judah.
So, to my readers, if you have never experimented with this form of learning God’s Word why don’t you give it a try. It will increase your ability to run ahead of the story and guess the ending before it happens. But best of all, our divine Teacher, The Holy Spirit, will began to trust you with and to anoint you with a better and deeper understanding of God’s Word. (You may have already noticed God uses a lot of shortcuts in His writings.)
Just like your Creator…Experiment in learning God’s Word…Be Blessed!
So all you poets out there get started…God is leaving it up to you to make His word plausible and digestible for all peoples. Remember what the Disciple John said:
Scripture Lesson: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25
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