june21 naomi s losses

Naomi’s Losses

Ruth 1:5 (ESV) — and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

We often read the Bible as if the people living in the pages don’t deal with the things we face today. It is easy to think they don’t understand stress or pressure. Maybe we forget that they experienced fears and disappointments. It may not be the same things in every instance, but they knew our experiences. One experience that transcends time and place is the loss of people you love. They experienced grief and sorrow like us.

We read this in our passage today. Our text is from the book of Ruth. Ruth is a short book that captures the backstory of the lineage of David. David’s father is Jesse, the son of Obed. Obed is the son of Boaz and Ruth. The story of Boaz and Ruth is found in Ruth. We read in Ruth 1:5, “and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.”

But this incredible story begins with Naomi. She is an Israelite woman that has lost both her husband and son. Her son’s wife is Ruth. She encourages Ruth to leave and find someone else since she is young and without children. But Ruth stays by Naomi’s side. This is how she eventually meets Boaz and becomes his wife, leading to the eventual birth of David, and of Christ. 

This part of the story often overlooked in the sweeping love story and background of King David’s family is that Naomi is a grieving woman. She has experienced unthinkable loss. To lose a husband is painful. Losing a child is brutal. Even Ruth knows the pain of grief and loss because she has lost a husband (Naomi’s son). They went through the same ups and downs in life as we do. Their hearts ached at the absence of their loved ones. They shed tears when certain memories emerged, or stories were told. 

The realness of the Bible shows us faithful men and women who lived through the same sin-fractured world we do. They lived through the fallout of sin and brokenness that we still face.

Stories like Naomi’s may not be the main point in the book of Ruth, but it is an important point. We meet a suffering woman who must keep putting her trust in God one day at a time. This is the same call for us today. 

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Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it important to remember details about Naomi’s suffering as we read books like Ruth?
- What does a story like this tell us about the sovereignty of God over Naomi and Ruth’s pain?
- How can you find encouragement and hope today in your own struggles through today’s text and/or devotional?

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