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  • Writer's pictureAshley Duren

Going Home: Ruth 1:6-14

So when we last left Ruth, we saw Naomi, probably gasping at breath and straws as she was navigating unchartered territory as a widow and now a mama orphan with 2 daughters-in-law looking for her next move.

I simple can't imagine the hurt and despair that she must have been feeling at such a low point in her life. At this point, we haven't seen or heard from Ruth, but we're about to in a very real way.

Ruth 1: 6-14

(6) Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the LORD had visited His people and given them food.

Not sure how Naomi had heard that the Lord was providing for people in her home country. But if I were her, I would have headed for home too. We don't have the back story on her and only learn more about her husband's family later, but can you imagine how much you'd just want nothing more to fall into your mama's arms after all the heartache and trauma you'd just been through.

But another interesting point to consider - the LORD had visited His people and given them. This feels like a full-circle moment, but actually we know it's multiple circles that keep coming and going. But the Israelites must be on the upswing at this point because the Lord is providing for them again, and they are giving Him the glory for that because Naomi heard about it all the way in Moab.

(7) So she set out from the place where was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

Mind you, they had been there for TEN years. Can you imagine the stuff - tangible and non-tangible - that was collected in ten years?? And just packing all that or leaving it behind and heading home. And without the three people that were the most important people in your life. And these Moabite women, also leaving their homeland and what they'd been accustomed to all their lives. Following their mother-in-law back to the place with a foreign (to them) God and a brand-new culture.

(8) But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. (9) The LORD grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!" Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

Naomi knew the predicament. These gals had married and loved her sons, but they were gone. They had no reason to return to Naomi's homeland and a whole life ahead of them. Obviously, she loved them. She blessed them saying, "May the LORD deal kindly with you."

My MIL is an absolute angel. She cares for my son and supports me so well as I love her son. So it makes perfect sense in my mind that they wept at the thought of departing from one another. But maybe that's not you. Maybe your experience hasn't been so great. I pray that the LORD will restore that relationship for you because it is so sweet a gift.

(10) And they said her, "No, we will return with you to your people." (12) But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands?

These Moabite women had what it took- the courage, the gumption, to go to a place they didn't know and leave their home behind to follow their mother-in-law. Now verse 12 might sound a little strange, but it was customary for young widows to remarry their husbands' younger brother. (Refer to Genesis 38 for an interesting backstory on this topic, that involved the namesake of the very tribe Naomi was returning home to.) Alas, it was normal and expected during that time.

(13) would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me."

Naomi thinks that a curse from the LORD is upon her as she reveals here. She refers to her circumstances as exceedingly bitter.

Exceedingly: extremely, to a great extent

Bitter: painful or unpleasant to accept

She knows her current circumstances are bleak and would not be conducive for these Moabite women to join her on the journey. Just stay put, she says.

(14) Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

Thus, Orpah returns home. But Ruth. Don't you love when you see "But God" in the Bible? When it says "But God" I know the circumstances are about to change. He's about to show up and do a work. So "but Ruth" stuck out to me. But Ruth stayed. with her MIL, trekking to a foreign land without any other living relatives now. Mind you, she didn't come from covenant country, but because of her act of faithfulness towards an Israelite, she will be rewarded in eternity through her heritage. Stay tuned to find out more...


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