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Book of Ruth 01
by Michael Holohan
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Book Of Ruth

Lesson 1

Lessons from a Backslider

Setting… Time of the Judges… Key Verses in Judges… Judges 2:16-19 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

The time of the Judges is summarized in the last verse of the Book of Judges. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land.

Famine in the Land… Type of Judgement… There was a famine in the land of Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey, the land which once yielded clusters of grapes so big that they had to be carried on a pole between two men Num. 13:17-25. Even in Bethlehem, which is the House of Bread, there was a famine. This was one of the judgments which God threatened to bring upon Israel if she sinned against him Deut 28:15-20,33, Lev 26:15-20,

This famine was probably during the time of Gideon in Judges 6 as it is the only famine mentioned in the book of Judges… Also they were over run by the Midianites another aspect of the result of their backsliding…

One of the main characters in the book is Boaz and he was the son of Rahab the harlot so this tells us that it was early in the period of the Judges that this took place…

This shows us that it wasn’t very long after the death of Joshua that the people turned aside from serving God…

Ruth 1:1 And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Bethlehem… house of bread, Judah… house of praise… House of Bread and Praise

Moab… incestuous son of Lot… an enemy of Israel… Gen 19:30-38… Seed of my Father…

Psa 108:9 Moab is my washpot over Edom will I cast my shoe… God will cast off his shoe over Edom and wash his feet in Moab, this was God’s opinion of them…

Elimelech… My God is King… he was probably a believer or had believing parents, but he was probably walking by sight as we see from the names he gave his sons…

Naomi… Pleasant

Mahlon… to be weak, sick… Chilion… to be frail… why did they call their children that, names are important in Israel… Probably evidence of their heart before God…

Ephrathites… Fruitful…

Let’s summarise these list of names, Elimelech means my God is king and his wife Naomi which means pleasant were epharthites or fruitful in Bethlehem Judah the house of bread and praise and when the famine came they left and went to Moab the land born out of incest instead of trusting God…

Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

He went to sojourn there… to turn aside from the road for a lodging or any other purpose, i.e. sojourn as a guest…

Right from the start Elimelech’s purpose was just to stay there for a short time, maybe until the famine was over.

Eccl. 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

The day of adversity will either draw us to our God or drive us to the world. If faith does not hold on to Christ, the flesh will drag us away from him.

Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

But he continued there… to resprout, i.e. propagate by shoots or as we would say he put down roots… This man took his family out of the presence of God, out of the place of provision and praise and into a heathen land…

Elimelech followed his eyes and not his faith just like Lot had done when he chose the plains near Sodom and Gomorrah…

Gen. 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Lot walked by sight and had nothing but trouble all the days of his life, he was taken captive by the 5 kings of the plains and Abraham had to rescue him, his house was surrounded by all the people of the city and the angels had to rescue him but the saddest part of all was he lost his wife to Sodom and Gomorrah, when they left she wanted to go back, she had put down roots there, probably had friends there but she liked the lifestyle and then look at his two girls, they were virgins that had not known a man and they got their father dunk and went into him and lay with him and both of them had children from their father…
You cannot walk by sight and leave the place of blessing and expect everything to be ok…

Ruth 1:3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.


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