Mountain View - Ruth and Naomi by Tom Hovsepian

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Her name meant “pleasant” but when she came back to her hometown after a disastrous absence she insisted that everyone call her “bitter”.

Ten years earlier, when Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem their hopes were high… they had fallen on hard times and thought the grass would be greener in Moab.
Unfortunately, their situation got much worse. Naomi’s husband died, and then in the course of their stay, both sons died too. Naomi was alone except for her son’s wives, Orpah and Ruth.

Not knowing how to support herself and her daughters-in-law, Naomi heard “that the Lord had visited His people” back in Israel. She decided to pack up and go home, and she released her daughters-in-law to go back home to live with their Moabite families. She was surprised and taken aback with Ruth begged to go with her. Ruth’s plea is profoundly unique in the Bible. Why would this young foreign woman make such a passionate commitment to a broken down old lady? We read that Ruth clung to Naomi (Ruth 1:14). The Hebrew word “clung” means “to stick like glue”. She also made the fateful declaration, “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” Ruth sold out in her love and devotion to Naomi.

What was it Ruth saw in this guilt ridden, bitter, Hebrew woman that caused her to leave everything familiar and travel to a foreign land? I’m not quite sure... Perhaps it was the hope that there really is a God who truly does “visit” His people? Either way, she followed through on her commitment and accompanied Naomi to Bethlehem.

Through a series of circumstances Ruth became acquainted with a wealthy man named Boaz. He had heard about Ruth’s commitment to Naomi and decided to honor, bless, and protect her. And because he was distantly related to Naomi, he decided to insure the security of her life and bloodline by becoming her “redeemer”. But there was a catch. Another relative had the first right of refusal in the “redeemer” role. It’s here Boaz’ commitment is seen as he confronts the situation head on and lays out for the relative the proposition before them.

He must have said something like this, “You can buy Naomi’s land if you wish but when you buy the land you also get her Moabite daughter-in-law in the deal.” The relative balked at the thought of having children with Ruth, a foreigner, and refused. As a result Boaz bought the field and married Ruth (who later became the great-grandmother of King David).

I’m told this story is read in Jewish circles every Pentecost. It took me awhile to see the present day prophetic significance of this custom, but I now believe it’s the foretelling of God visiting His people on that strange and glorious day when the Church was birthed.

Tom HovsepianNaomi is like much of the church today, what should be “pleasant” is disillusioned and filled with guilt over past mistakes. Ruth represents those in the church who see within it something glorious. They see the mistakes, failures and fruitlessness yet yearn for God to “visit” His people. They refuse to let go until the church is redeemed to its rightful place as the joy of the whole earth.

Tom Hovsepian is a former pastor of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30a.m. Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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