Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ruth

By Mary Vee
Ruth 1


From Ruth's Journal


Orpah shared her journal entry from last time with me. She said she didn't mind if I told you more.


If you didn't get a chance to read it, click here


I am a Moabite. My mother taught me how to make our foods and clothing. We worshiped the god Chemosh, and followed the Moabite customs. I learned and followed our customs, but deep inside my heart I wondered if there was something different, maybe--.


Orpah told you about the Hebrew family, Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons, Mahlon and Chilion who came to live in our area in her journal post. 


Strangers in need had moved to our neighborhood before, but none had been as kind and giving as this family.


Even though Naomi's family followed their Hebrew customs and remained devoted to their God, they worked hard to help and give anything they could to the neighborhood. When Elimilech died, Naomi continued to give to others in need.


Not long ago, Orpah married one of her sons, and I married the other. We both moved to our new homes on their family land. Naomi welcomed us as her daughters. Her smiles encouraged us to listen and learn the Hebrew ways. 


Her forgiveness taught me I could still be loved even though I made mistakes. Her wise counsel  guided me to make choices that turned out good. Her respect for me as a person helped me grow as a woman and a wife. I wanted to learn about the Hebrew God more and more each day.


This is my family. A warm, loving family.


Not long after Orpah and I had become part of Naomi's family, our husbands became sick, really sick.  She and I took over the work in the fields to save the land. Naomi helped with our household chores. We couldn't have survived without her. 


We searched for doctors who could help our husbands. Naomi prayed to her God. Sadly, a month later, both our husbands died. 


The three of us cried together. We hugged, wept, and supported each other. There seemed no reason to laugh any more. We worked, sobbed, and stayed close together.


A week later Orpah and I made Naomi's favorite dinner for her hoping to find some happiness. It didn't work. We sat in silence at the dinner table, waiting for her to speak. After a few moments, Naomi prayed to her God thanking Him for the food. Even in all her sorrow, she thanked her God. After she took a bite of her dinner she looked at both of us and gave a tiny smile. "It's time to return to my home in Bethlehem. I recently heard from a traveler that the rains have come and the crops are growing."


I didn't need a moment to think. Neither did Orpah. "OK, Mother. We'll start packing tomorrow."


We didn't have any servants, camels, or large carts to help pack or carry the load. In a way, that made our work easier. We only took the most important items, locked the door then followed Naomi on the road to our new home.


Come follow our journey by reading the next story.


*****************************
1.  Where was Ruth from?
2.  How did Ruth describe Naomi?
3.  What happened to Ruth's husband?
4.  What did Naomi decide to do after her son's died?
5.  Despite Naomi's sadness, how did she show her faith in God?
(in an upcoming story, Naomi will become very sad, even angry--still, she will keep her faith in God)

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!