A Different Perspective
This year I have written stories for our children’s program at church. My goal was to focus on secondary characters in a story. Each of us have a story to share. Everyone’s story is different even if we have shared similar or the same events. Each of us is at a different walk with God. But often when we tell a Bible story we focus on the character we think is the main character.
So I chose some characters that we may mention in a story but never focus on their perspective or story. It was amazing some of the wisdom gleaned from doing that. I soon realized how we have made assumptions about people in the story when we only looked at one person’s perspective. I had to wonder how often we do that to people we know as well.
One of my favorite characters was Naomi. The book of Ruth has always been about Ruth and Boaz and their love story has been a part of many wedding ceremonies. A new look at the story with Naomi in the starring role told another amazing story.
Most people upon reading the story criticize Elimelich for moving his family to Moab. It was a country of pagan worship. Some might even see the misfortune of he and his sons as a result of moving there. Some criticized Naomi for her bitterness for having lost her husband and sons. But there is so much more to be seen in this story. I will share some of the precious gems that came from focusing on Naomi.
We don’t know why Elimelich moved his family to Moab but whether God led them there or they made a bad decision, God took the situation and orchestrated an amazing outcome. In this family of redeemers, Christ our Redeemer came. The famine, living in a pagan nation, and the death of Elimelich and their two sons did not control the outcome of Naomi’s story.
In spite of her losses Naomi must have been a true worshiper of God. For Ruth saw something in Naomi that she desperately wanted. She was willing to leave family and homeland to go with Naomi and worship her God, just as Naomi worshiped God.
Next we see Naomi return to her homeland in Bethlehem. Even though she felt empty from the loss of her family, she remained faithful to God and committed her life to making a way for Ruth. She knew that Ruth was young and alone. She would have no way to provide for herself. But she was young and had a chance to change her situation.
Naomi on the other hand had no way to change her situation. She was old and could not have any more children. She had no sons or any way to continue her family. She was empty and her family story was over. It was final. The end. NOT!!
Ruth was much younger than Boaz and could have married a younger man but she cared so much for Naomi. She knew that a child by Boaz was the connection Naomi needed to restore her opportunity to have a family to carry on her husband’s name since Boaz was a relative of Elimelich. When Ruth and Boaz placed their baby son, Obed, into Naomi’s arms for her to care for, we see that Obed was a gift from God, turning Naomi’s life around, providing her a redeemer for her family, and giving Naomi a renewed purpose in life. She now had a way to carry on her husbands name through Boaz’s son. And she had a beautiful baby boy to help care for. What a beautiful picture!
But the story doesn’t stop there. Obed’s name comes from a word that means worshiper. I’m sure that as Naomi helped care for Obed she shared stories of God’s protection and care through her journey. She taught Obed how to be a true worshiper of God. Obed must have seen her joy of worshiping God and he too became a worshiper of God. In fact as we look at the family tree we find that Obed’s grandson, David the psalmist was one of the greatest worshipers of God. In this amazing family line of worshipers, in the same town of Bethlehem, another redeemer, “Baby Jesus,” came into the world. Only this redeemer redeemed all of mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” !
Love this LOVE story! It truly is a love story, but far greater than just the marriage of Ruth and Boaz. It tells how God can redeem even the most final of situations. Nothing is too hard for God. No ones situation is too final for God. God sent His Son to redeem all mankind! When sharing stories with our children and grandchildren it is so important to include stories of Thanksgiving, praise and worship to God.
Such an amazing blessing to see my grandson baptized this weekend.