Calamity occurs to the just as well as the unjust, forcing us to reveal the level of our faith. (1:1-7)
1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
2 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, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.
3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.
4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.
5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food.
7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
For he will deliver the needy
when he cries for help,
The afflicted also,
and him who has no helper.
He will have compassion on the poor
And the lives of the needy he will save.
Psalm 72: 12,13
By faith we must follow God even though we are uncertain of our future.
8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
10 And they said to her, "No, but we will surely return with you to your people."
11 But Naomi said, "Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.  Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."
18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
Now faith is the assurance of [things] hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. . . . And without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
19 So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, "Is this Naomi?"
20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
22 So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
*God’s children face the same tragedies in life as everyone else. God does not spare his children from suffering, but his grace is sufficient through suffering. Our response is to trust him and learn how dependent we are upon him.
*Calamity and crisis should drive us closer to God and to long for our future redemption from this pain-filled world.
*Our view of God’s goodness is often obscured by our difficulties and hard times. Faith helps us to see beyond our trials and circumstances. When we look closely we see Divine grace and goodness.
*When we place saving faith in Christ, we are at the same time renouncing former lifestyles.