11.7.21 What’s In A Name – Ruth 1.1-18

The book of Ruth and what it means that God gives us a name and provides us a future.
Mount Hermon Baptist Church, Moseley, Virginia.

“What’s in a name?”

Ruth 1:1-18


Why mention names?

Names aren’t just names in the Bible.

Not only are people re-named in the Bible, including by God:

Abram (exalted father) / Abraham (father of many)

Sarai (princess) / Sarah (lady of the multitude)

Jacob (one who takes/seizes) / Israel (one who wrestles God)

But to receive a name often tells us something. As we’ve read today in Ruth, the Bible can be full of names—even when we’re not reading a list of names, like a genealogy or a census.

The Lord remembers his people.

The LORD provides for his people, including in giving them a name.


Elimelech – A name meaning “My God is King.”

Naomi – A name meaning “Sweet” or “Pleasant.” Later,

(Ruth 1:20) Ruth says, “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara [bitter], because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.”


Mahlon – “sickness” (literary, not literal)

Kilion– “destruction”

Orpah – “nape” – the back of the neck [She turns away from her mother-in-law, to go home v. 14].

Ruth – A name which is either a misspelling / play of the Hebrew word for friendship or a name meaning “fertile.”

Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah find themselves lost – hurt by incredible loss.

To not have children, was to lack a future for a woman or man in those days.

The Lord remembers his people.

The LORD gives a family to those who have no family.

 This is one of the amazing things about the book of Ruth. Ruth is one of four women named in the

genealogy of Jesus in Matthew. She’s an ancestor of King David.

Psalm 68:5

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

The LORD remembers the names even of the forgotten.

God remembering Names & Salvation Are Tied Together.

The Book of Life (a few passages)

Exodus 32:32

Luke 10:10-20

Philippians 4:3

We can have assurance the Lord remembers his people.

Jesus is a descendant of Ruth—the story does not end with no future for Ruth. Her line lead to Jesus. And through him, whether we have children or not, whether life is what we expected or not, we can know that

Jesus knows and remembers our name.

The Lord remembers (and names) his people.

A name and the future from the Lord are a gift.


Like our intro / outro music in the audio/ podcast version? Tip the creator, Zeno, like we did at his Patreon!

Check out his guitar instrumental worship music at his page.