ruth-smallRuth Chooses Naomi’s God | The Book of Ruth

There was a famine, so a man took his wife Naomi and two sons and moved to another land. Soon after, the man died and Naomi’s two sons married women from that land. The women’s names were Orpah and Ruth. After ten years both sons died, so Naomi was left with only her two daughters-in-law. When Naomi heard there was again food in her land, she prepared to return home. She set out on the road along with the two daughters-in-law. Then Naomi said to them, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant you each another husband.”

They wept aloud and said, “We will go back with you to your people.”  “No, my daughters,” Naomi insisted, “I am too old to have any more sons. Would you remain unmarried?” Then Orpah kissed Naomi and left; but Ruth held on and would not leave. Again Naomi insisted, “Go back to your people and your gods.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or go back to my people. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. Naomi and Ruth arrived home just as the harvest was beginning. Ruth asked Naomi’s permission to go to the fields to glean the leftover grain for their food. As it turned out she went to a field belonging to Boaz, a respected relative of Naomi, who was not married. Boaz asked his harvesters, “Whose young woman is that?” They replied, “She is the woman who returned with Naomi. She has worked hard from morning till now.” So Boaz said to Ruth, “Don’t glean in another field. I have told my men not to touch you.” Ruth bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Then Boaz said, “I’ve been told about how you left your mother and father and came to live with a people you did not know before. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord.”

When Ruth went back to Naomi she told whose field she had worked in. Naomi said, “The Lord has not stopped showing kindness! That man is a close relative.” So Boaz insisted that Ruth glean only in his field so she would not be harmed by anyone. Eventually Boaz married Ruth and had a son, and Naomi was pleased and praised God.