1. Elimelech and Naomi leave Bethlehem for Moab (1:1-5) Famine prompts Elimelech and Naomi to leave their home in Bethlehem (meaning â€śhouse of breadâ€ť) for Moab. Then Elimelech dies. Naomiâ€™s two sons marry in Moab, but then they die, leaving three destitute widows. Have you ever been overtaken by circumstances outside of your control? Have you ever asked, â€śWhere is God in my suffering, loss, and pain?â€ť â€śFaithfulnessâ€ť endures trials.
2. Naomi returns home to Bethlehem (1:6-13) Naomi returns home to Bethlehem, taking Orpah and Ruth with her for the beginning of the trip before imploring them to return to Moab, for their own good. Naomi argues, â€śYou have no future with me.â€ť â€śFaithfulnessâ€ť takes risks for others. The Hebrew word á¸Ąesed means â€śloving kindness, loyalty, compassion, or covenantal faithfulness.â€ť No single English word carries the same meanings.
3. Ruth remains faithful to Naomi (1:14-18) Orpah returns home to Moab, but Ruth remains faithful to Naomi, going with her to Bethlehem. â€śFaithfulnessâ€ť serves others.
4. Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem (1:19-22) Naomi and Ruth arrive home, destitute, discouraged, and depressed. Naomi struggles with the apparent absence of God in her life. â€śFaithfulnessâ€ť is transparent before God.