family of four fled the famine in the land in the time when the judges ruled
the country. There were four of them: husband, wife and their two sons. Theirs
was a life of tragedy and misfortune in the period of ten years while in the
country of Moab, where they made it their home for a while. They were
Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah, a place linked to prophecy concerning the
birth of the Savior of the world. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are
small among the clans or rulers of Judah, out of you will come for me One Who
will be Ruler over Israel, whose coming forth from of old ( Micah 5:2). Nothing in God’s calendar happens by mistake.
Although circumstances pointed out tragedy, His plan of old, from eternity was
firmly established through the lives of this family, although indirectly, for
it was not going to be from them, but from a Moabitess woman and a kin of the husband,
that Bethlehem was going to be exalted above the heavens.
story of Ruth, the Moabite, does not stop with the end of the book of Ruth;
instead, it begins. It is an amazing story to read. In fact, it is the kind of
story everyone would like to read for its wonderful ending. In the days when the Judges ruled, as the
Bible tells us, a family of four from the town of Bethlehem of Judah, left
their country to sojourn in the country of Moab, due to a famine in the land.
They were Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. It was a
trip of about twenty to thirty miles, not far at all. Moab, is located east of
the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, South of the Arnon (Num. 21:10-15). The Moabites descendants have a questionable
history due to Lot’s daughters in their incestuous relationship with him (Gen.
19:31-35). After the judgment that came to Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s daughters
assuming they to be the only females in that region where they settled, they
took upon themselves the responsibility to solve the problem by bearing Lot’s
children to enable the line of their family to continue. In a devious and
perverse way, they caused their father to lie with them and they both bore his
children. Not an attractive story, is it? But God, as it is said, “Writes
straight on a crooked line.” As a matter
of fact, we are all crooked before Him, but His love has covered the multitude
of our sins through His Son, YAHSHUA.