Feast and Famine


Ruth and Naomi view

Ruth and Naomi

Screenshot 2017-06-09 17.53.00 (2)

Young and beautiful, pleasant and married

To a strong family leader, a decisive man

They lived in a land of promise and plenty

Among their friends and extended family.


But their plentiful life turned to poverty

Their country plagued by famine

The people punished by God Almighty

For stubborn disobedience.


Unable to feed his wife and sons

He packed up and left for a foreign land

They said goodbye to all things familiar

Their culture, their faith and trust in God.


They settled as immigrants in a land far away

Their boys grew strong, their future looked good

But soon tragedy struck the small family

Naomi left widowed by her husband’s death.


She left the famine in her homeland

To be starved of her beloved

A traumatic loss, a family heartbroken

Who mourned alone far from family and friends.


But love and laughter soon returned

To Naomi’s broken heart

Her two precious sons were engaged to be married

To women from this foreign land.


Blended cultures, a foreign religion

Beliefs and values less godly then her own

As time go by her heart drifts away

From the Faith she once held dear.


She remembers a time back in her youth

When her family lived by God’s way

Moral was high, family leadership wise

Life was filled with God’s blessings.


Ten years passed by and yet no children born?

By now their family should have grown?


A catastrophe struck down the family

Naomi’s sons were tragically killed

The two young wives without babe or child

Three women alone with no future hope.


Naomi was now in a destitute state

Fearful and scared unable to cope

Her daughters-in-law so full of sorrow

Could not console her shattered soul.


The famine was over so she travelled back home

Her daughters-in-law accompanied her

But the further they walked the deeper she thought

My God has not been with me here in this land.


“Go back to your mothers and your family homes

Remarry, have children while you still can

I have nothing to give to secure your future

You cannot help me for my grief is too deep.”


One girl turned back with tears flowing

To stay in her country, religion and culture

But Ruth would not leave the grieving Naomi

“Your God is my God, your people are mine.”


Naomi feels empty in her land of plenty

Bitter at God for causing her loss

Even though she had been the one

Who had walked away from God’s promises.


But Ruth sees hope and opportunity

“I can work for food and make ends meet

God has promised to take care of us

Just as he had throughout the past.”


She went out into the hostile land

Despised and vulnerable

Ruth chose a field, she asked to gleen

From dawn till dusk to gather enough.


Boaz saw her in his field

He asked the foreman “Who is she?”

He showed concern for her safety

For farmers and reapers would mistreat her.


His heart warmed as he heard her story

Her faithful devotion to Naomi

Her gentle nature yet keen work ethic

Her humble respect yet adventurist spirit.


With fatherly kindness he said to her

“Stay in my field and gather my wheat

Eat and drink with my workers”

May God bless you and Naomi.”


At dusk Ruth walked home with a bundle of wheat

Surprised Naomi asked her how and why?

Excitedly Ruth talked about

The kind field owner – Boaz.


Naomi gasped “I know that man

He was kind to my husband and sons

He is an older relative

A godly man of honour and truth.”


Ruth continued to gather in the same field

Till the end of the harvest season

Naomi said “Tonight my dear

Ask Boaz to marry you.”


“Go to him respectfully

For it’s part of our tradition

For the next in kin to rescue us

From our childless poverty.”


Nervously Ruth surprised Boaz

Dressed as a beautiful bride

“Please marry me and rescue us

From our shameful widowhood.”


“I’ll serve you selflessly

With honour and respect

I’ll bear you children who will fill your days

With laughter and joy till death do us part.”


Boaz felt honoured that Ruth would ask

An older man as he

To marry her, beautiful and young

To bring him love and children.


“I shall protect you from this day forth

You shall never want for any good thing

I will love and care for you and Naomi

Until death do us part.”


The town celebrated this unusual bond

Of a wealthy older, God fearing man

To a foreign woman, once despised

Who, when she was empty, trusted in God.


Who left her family, country and god

To draw on God’s grace from stories of old

As she selflessly loved her mother-in-law

Then marry a man she hardly knew.


Naomi was raised from emptiness

To fullness and joy of life

Through the selfless love her new family

Boaz, Ruth and their son.


Ruth, a foreigner became an ancestor

Of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour

Who selflessly gave himself to save

All who believe and trust in Him.


Written by Beverley Joy Hermann © 2017

This poem is based on the Bible Story in the Book of Ruth