Monday, October 19, 2009
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread. 7 Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. 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 in the house of her husband.”
So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!”
(Ruth 1:6-13, New King James Version)
Life had dealt Naomi some severe blows. Having outlived her husband and both of her sons, Naomi determined to return to the land of Judah. The famine had ended, and Naomi sought solace among her own people.
Naomi was so loved by both of her daughters-in-law, that they determined to return to Judah with her. She looked at both of them and said, "Why?" If a woman died childless, she was to be given in marriage to the oldest surviving son. But, Naomi had no more sons to give to Orpah and Ruth. What purpose, then, would be served by Orpah and Ruth to return to a land that was not theirs?
Naomi pleaded with both Orpah and Ruth to stay in the land of their fathers and seek husbands among their own relatives. Due to their love of Naomi, both women desired to remain with Naomi rather than to return to their fathers' houses. Naomi looked at both of them and said, "I have no sons to give to you in marriage. Even if I had another son, would either of you want to wait for him to grow up so that you could marry him."
No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!”
It seemed as though all hope for Naomi had ended. She would return to her homeland alone and bitter, because of the hand of the Lord that had gone against her. Is this the way Naomi's life ended? Did she die a bitter death, alone and unloved?
How many times have we undergone an event or several events that have left us feeling as though the hand of the Lord has struck out against us? Why would God allow such things to happen to those He loves? Are we just left with the cold thought, "Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do or die."?
We must leave Naomi for today, but her story is not ended. Naomi could not see into the future; she did not know of the great things God still had in store for her. Could that be true in our lives as well? Does our God work the same way in our lives as He did in the days of Naomi? Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is the God we serve! Pray that He will grant you peace and joy even in the middle of the dark days of life.
God Bless You,