Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ruth 1:6-22, The Sad Return Home

In the verses here in Ruth we see the returning of Naomi to Bethlehem. She hears the Lord has blessed the people and the land with harvest. Naomi and her daughter in laws begin the journey.

Naomi tells us much in the fact that she calls Orpah and Ruth her daughters. This shows how they cared for Naomi. This is a testament of how we should be as mothers and daughter in laws. Naomi did not see loosing her sons to them, but gaining daughters. We need to treat our mother in laws or daughter in laws in the same matter. We need to see them as a gift of God. Someone who God places in our lives to enrich it and bless it.

Naomi knows that these two daughters of her have nothing wanting for them in Bethlehem. The levirate marriage law would not be entitled for them, they were not Jewish. They would face a life of widowhood and have no one to meet their needs. They would face a country that was not their own and people would might not welcome them. Naomi is thinking of them when she blesses them and entreats them to return to Moab in verses 11-13.

In verses 14 -15 we see three women crying in the road. This scene I once took so lightly, now I realize what was so important.  In verse 14, Orpah returns and Ruth stays. Let's take a moment to look ahead to Ruth 4: 21-22. These 2 verses tell of the genealogy of David, of whom Christ will be born. Look closely to who is David's great grand mother?? Ruth! What would have happened to this genealogy if Ruth return to Moab. If Ruth thought that it would be to hard to face life in Bethlehem?

In verses 16 and 17 we see an important decision here. We see a sevenfold decision.
  • Intreat me not to leave thee, or return from following after thee
  • Whither thou goest, I will go
  • Where thou lodgest, I will lodge
  • Thy people shall be my people
  • Thy God my God
  • Where thou diest, will I die, and there be buried
  • The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me

Wow, seven decisions Ruth makes, could we have made them knowing the place we are going to call home may not accept us. Ruth shows us her heart here. She is choosing to follow God at all cost. In Bethlehem, the only friend and family she will have is Naomi, she is facing a life of hardness and loneliness of widowhood.

When Ruth tells Naomi, thy God will be my God. Ruth is confessing into salvation. She is putting her trust and hope in the Lord Jesus. She even states where you are buried, I will be buried. The promise of life after death the blessed hope is what Ruth is trusting in. Ruth knows that no matter what, the almighty God is there for her and she will put her trust in Him alone.

The last decision  an oath that she makes, the Lord do so to me, and more is only stated in the bible a few times, 1 Sam. 14:44 ;20:13 and 1 Kings 19;2; 20:10. This is not a vow to take lightly, this is an oath before God. A oath that will not go unpunished. Ruth's decisions here gos from the present to eternity.

When Naomi and Ruth reach Bethlehem, the people ask if this was Naomi. I missed this in the past, people asked if this was Naomi, this is showing that she was known to the people, respected by them, maybe her husband had been of high consideration to the people.

Naomi tells the people to no longer call her Naomi, which mean pleasant, now, call her Mara, meaning bitter. Naomi's life has changed so much in a chapter, she looses her husband and sons. She left Bethlehem full and returns with nothing. Notice in verse 22, God still calls her Naomi, He has not given up on her. God has a plan for Naomi, how often are we like Naomi, and see the bitterness and hardness and forgetting that God is in control and has a plan for our lives. We know in just a few chapters ahead that Naomi will be pleasant again and blessed by God thru Ruth and Boaz.

Don't give up be strong like Ruth, trusting that God is in control. He will be there for you to comfort you, meet your needs, and care for you. Don't give up like Naomi thinking that God has forgotten you. God loves you and He has a special plan for your life.

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