‘Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.’*
There was a famine in the land of Judah, the Bible says. But instead of trusting God, Elimelech and Naomi took their sons and went to Moab (now part of Jordan). The origin of the Moabites came from the incestuous coming together of Lot with his eldest daughter, who bore him a son named Moab. Moab is a place of idolatry, sin and arrogance.
Can there be anything good that comes from Moab?
While in Moab, the sons of Naomi took wives, Ruth and Orpah, who were native to Moab. However, while still in there, Naomi’s sons and husband died. Naomi wanted to go back to her homeland of Judah and told Ruth and Orpah to go back to their own mothers – to stay in idolatrous Moab. Orpah went back; Ruth went on to Judah with Naomi. Ruth forsook her idols and trusted God…but she still needed a Redeemer.
We don’t know much of what went on in Moab with Ruth and Orpah. It was a pagan society. The Bible doesn’t expound much on the exploits of these women but we do know it couldn’t have been Godly.
Every day, we are faced with believing God or the world. As sinners, we need redemption. When Ruth chose God, she needed to repent and be forgiven. As I said earlier, we don’t know what happened in Moab – it was the choice of the Holy Spirit to not disclose it.
But can there be anything good that comes from Moab?
YES – good can come from Moab. Ruth came from a terrible place and found Redemption. Boaz showed favor to Ruth, rescued her – he was her kinsman-redeemer. Boaz would later marry Ruth and through the bloodline of these two people would be our coming Redeemer: Jesus. You see, God is in everything. When most people read the Book of Ruth, they see a simple love story but there is nothing simple about it. Our Savior would come from them!
Yes, God is in everything. Even in Moab.
*Ruth 1:16 (ESV)