During a time of famine in Israel, an Israelite named Naomi moved to the land of Moab with her husband and their two sons. Later Naomi’s husband died. Her sons married Ruth and Orpah, who were Moabites. Sadly, in time, Naomi’s sons died.
When Naomi heard that the famine in Israel was over, she decided to return home. Ruth and Orpah traveled with her, but while on the road, Naomi told them: ‘You were good wives to my sons and good daughters-in-law to me. I want you both to marry again. Go home to Moab.’ The women said: ‘We love you! We don’t want to leave you.’ Naomi kept telling them to go. Finally, Orpah went back, but Ruth stayed. Naomi told her: ‘Orpah is going back to your people and your gods. Go with her.’ But Ruth said: ‘I will not leave you. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.’ How do you think Naomi felt when Ruth said that?
Ruth and Naomi arrived in Israel at the beginning of the barley harvest. One day, Ruth went to collect leftover grain in the field of a man named Boaz, who was the son of Rahab. He heard that Ruth was a Moabitess who had loyally stayed with Naomi. He told his workers to leave a little extra grain in the field for Ruth to gather.
That evening, Naomi asked Ruth: ‘Whose field did you work in today?’ Ruth said: ‘The field of a man named Boaz.’ Naomi told her: ‘Boaz is one of my husband’s relatives. Keep working in his field with the other young women. You will be safe there.’
Ruth continued to work in Boaz’ field until the harvest was over. Boaz noticed that Ruth worked hard and was an excellent woman. In those days, if a man died and had no sons, his relative would marry his widow. So Boaz married Ruth. They had a son named Obed, who later became King David’s grandfather. Naomi’s friends were delighted. They said: ‘First, Jehovah gave you Ruth, who has been very good to you, and now you have a grandson. May Jehovah be praised.’
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”—Proverbs 18:24