Yesterday, we noted the book of Ruth began in difficult times, both for the nation of Israel and for Elimelek and his family. Now, tragedy hits the family:
First with the death of Elimelek, and then the death of Naomi’s two sons. Ominously, the Hebrew names Mahlon and Kilion are related to the words for “sickness” and “destruction”.
The text is stark, “Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband”, a vulnerable widow, in a foreign land. The new beginning in Moab for Elimelek and his family has ended in disaster.
And where is God? He’s here in the story, in Elimelek, whose name means, “The LORD is King”. But that truth must have been very hard to believe for Naomi.
When tragedy strikes, when death enters our life, when disaster comes, it can be hard for us to believe that “the LORD is king”. These things are reminders that the world is not as it should be. Yet in Ruth’s story, and in ours, God is at work to put things right.