In both verse 6 and 7 NKJV, we see how proactive Naomi is. She understands her situation and continues to move forward. In future verses, we see that she isn’t quiet about her situation, but she doesn’t stagnate due to her problems. She has heard what the Elohim has done for the people of Moab and she goes to seek Him. She does not wait for Him, to meet her. This reminds me of the women with the issue of blood. They are both proactive. They have heard and are proactive in getting what they have desired.
Matthew 9:20-22 NKJV, “And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her, He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.” This story can also be found in Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48.
Verse 8 NKJV, shows that the way you interact with others can lead to your own blessings. You might not need to ask Elohim to bless you, because others will ask on your behalf, based on your actions.
There is something about verse 12 and verse 13 NKJV, which reminds me of Sarah’s situation and her time of barrenness. In Genesis 11:30NKJV, we are told that “Sarai was barren; she had no child,” and in desperation she gives Abram (Abraham) her maidservant Hagar, to bear children in her place in Genesis 16:1-2NKJV, “Now Sarai, Abraham’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.” I’m assuming that we all know how the story ends, and if you are not familiar with the story, give it a quick read in Genesis 16. But to summaries, think about a married woman who is barren, that has found out that her husband’s side-chick, which she condoned, is pregnant and has decided that she is head honcho.
Genesis 18:11-12 NKJV, “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore, Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?””
As you can see, Sarah was well aware of her situation and regardless of how many times Abraham would tell her that she would bear children and that Elohim had promised them numerous descendants like the stars and the sands, she had no hope and found it quite comical.
If we study the word barren, it can mean too poor to produce much or any vegetation. A word to describe unfruitful/unproductive. In Naomi’s situation, she had lost her husband and her sons, and she believed that she did not have anything useful to give to her daughter-in-laws, that would make their lives more fruitful or productive. She doesn’t have a job to finance her sons’ wives or anything really to pass down as inheritance. She has no other sons, that could they could marry. In fact, in verse 11 NKJV, “Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?””
However, just like Sarah and her situation of barrenness, Naomi and her sense of hopelessness is resolved. As we continue to study the Book of Ruth, we see that Naomi introduces Ruth to her brother-in-law/relative-in-law, Boaz, who Ruth eventually marries. Boaz, who is the grandfather of King David.
A situation might seem barren or hopeless and you want to be Sarah and find shortcuts (or giggle in secret and limit Elohim’s powers) or like Naomi and give up, believing that “the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!” (Verse 13 NKJV). But Elohim told us to be fruitful and He will make us fruitful and we will come out of our harsh situation more blessed than ever before. Job’s story is a testimony to that. Patience is what is required of us and having hope. We must continue to walk righteously, even when the world mocks us or it seems that there is no reward at the end of the day, because it will eventually come, just not at the time that we expect it to. This type of thinking we need to apply to our daily lives, in our career, in our relationship, in our finance and whatsoever we desire.
In verse 14 NKJV, we can see that there are two ways of dealing with a stage of barrenness/hopelessness:
- Running away from it
- Orpah kisses her mother-in-law, leaves and we do not hear from her again. She misses out on the blessing that is to come from persevering and following Naomi back to Moab.
- Similar to Sarah trying to escape her barrenness and using Hagar to conceive a son with Abraham. This led to a time of hostility in the camp – “So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.” Genesis 16:4 NKJV.
- Overcoming it
- Ruth clings to her mother-in-law, and does not give up on her. Eventually, by staying with Naomi, she is able to meet Boaz and harvest on his fields, providing food for both her and Naomi.
- Similar to Sarah, who gives birth to Isaac at the age of 90 – “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac.” Genesis 21:1-3 NKJV.
- In both these situations, patience is required and relying on the word/promises of Elohim.