Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 1-2b

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

This household ends up in Moab, a foreign place. They leave Bethlehem, their home, the familiar, a place that means ‘house of bread’. They go far away. They exchange the known for the unknown. In Moab they are literally ‘strangers’. They are displaced.

Do you ever feel misplaced? Forced into situations or places that seem beyond your control. The pandemic is pushing into unfamiliar and difficult times.

But there is good news. The Lord says in the Psalms, ‘Moab is my washbasin!’ (Ps 60:8). Even the far away and the unfamiliar are no match for God’s greatness, goodness and power. Thanks be to God in Jesus Christ.

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 2a

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

The names of the parents in this family matter. First is Elimelech, which means ‘God is my King’. Next, is his wife Naomi, which means ‘good, pleasant, beautiful’.

There is a famine. The family is in dire straights. They are forced to move from their home to Moab. Yet, in the middle are two parents, ‘God is my King’ and ‘Good and Pleasant’. Their presence points us to the person of Jesus Christ today.

He is our King, who is able and willing to help us. What is more, he is Good. He is Pleasant. He is Kind. Trust him today.

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 2

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

Here we meet a family of four in the middle of a great famine and natural disaster. The father’s name, Elimelech, means ‘God is King’; the mother’s name, Naomi, means ‘pleasant, beautiful’.

The family unit and the parents’ names stand in contrast to their surroundings, which are scattered and uncertain.

As Christians, we are part of a family – the body of Christ. A unit whose head is Jesus himself, whose name means ‘he who saves’. Paul describes life as a Christian in the body of Christ, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-10)

Take heart that in everything going around us, we are far from alone.

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 1b

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

God’s people were no strangers to drastic moves. Abram and Sarai leave their homeland, as does Issac. The book of Ruth opens with a drastic move too.

A certain man of Bethlehem (King David’s City!) leave for Moab. They do so because of a great disaster, a famine.

Although things may look uncertain for us today, be assured that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is well-versed in big moves. When life changes and shifts, God does not. “Where can I flee from your presence? If go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” (Psalm 139:7)

In Jesus God is revealed as the One who is faithful in every way, in every place, in every time. Always. In Bethlehem. In Moab. Right here. Forever.

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 1a

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

The story of Ruth is set in a time of natural disaster. There is a famine in Israel so bad, households take drastic measures to survive.

The setting of Ruth reminds us that God is not absent in suffering. God does not run from it. In fact, the whole story of Ruth will show us God’s providence and faithfulness in a time of calamity.

In Jesus Christ, God enters your hard times and our difficulties. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2