the journey….

So here we are around the seventh verse of Ruth and all of a sudden Naomi turns to da girls and says, “Hey.  Why don’t y’all go on back to your mama’s house….and God bless.”  (Ok, this is my version and we won’t know until the Rapture if they used southern slang or not…so just go with it.) Orpah and Ruth cried and said, “No, we would rather go with you.”  But Naomi was pretty persistent and said, “Lookit…..I’m old.  Even if I DID have more babies (eew) are you going to wait around and marry them?  Hmm? Now, go on!  Git!”

So this is where Orpah decides to go home.  (Hey, she has her own tv show now and seems to be doing pretty well).  Ruth is literally clinging to Naomi and says, “No.  Where you go, I go.  Where you die, I die.  Your God?  My God……and possibly ended her speech with “stick a needle in my eye ” but I can’t be sure…..  Naomi sees that she will NOT be swayed so she says, “K.”

So now they are in Bethlehem and it must have been really obvious that they were coming because everyone in the town is so excited! (verse 19)  I’m wondering if Ruth is still clinging…..  This is where the first chapter ends.  Naomi has returned home (hmm….like the prodigal son?) with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, and I’m sure they were just standing in the middle of the town with their hands on their hips, checking it all out and noticing that it is the beginning of the barley harvest.  (verse 22).

This is about to get good………..c’mon….its a WHOLE GRAIN…..

phew!!

Ok, yesterday found me a little too excited about reading the Book of Ruth.  Maybe it was the thought of the candy bar…I’m not sure but NOW we know that Elimilech and Naomi and da boys are heading out to Moab despite the fact that this is against what God had commanded them to do.

The Bible doesn’t tell us how Elimilech dies but he leaves Naomi with her two sons who marry Moabite women.  One was named Orpah (no that is not a typo) and the other is named Ruth.  (Finally!)  They lived there about ten years and her two sons then died.  Great.   So now you have Naomi, Orpah and Ruth standing around looking at each other, which is all they had left, and Naomi decides that it’s time to go back to Bethlehem.  It’s funny  that she didn’t suddenly see that they were wrong in going to Moab, but she wanted to go back because of their ‘physical’ circumstances. This little famine thingy was getting so OLD. (Ruth 1:6-7)  Now, it’s hard to find fault in someone that is driven by food…….yes, I’ve been there.  But they are being driven by their physical urges and not their spiritual.  God is not their reason for returning home.

How many times have I allowed my ‘physical’ circumstances to move me instead of allowing God to lead me?  Eeek!  I can identify.  But God still used Naomi to bring her back to Him by meeting her physical needs (food) and graciously awaited her in Bethlehem.  What a picture that is!  God is always ready for us to come back to Him and His food  is always available at the  table for those who decide to receive it.

I love that back in those days you could just change your name.  Naomi changed her name to ‘Mara’  which means ‘bitterness’.  Hmm…. I think if she said, “Say, why don’t you head on back?” I might have said, “You know, Bitter…..I think I might do that…Good luck with your attitude and all….”

ACTUALLY, I don’t think sarcasm would do here.  Here she was husbandless, childless and penniless and God was going to bless her for returning to Him.  So….maybe I am going to need to keep my sarcasm to a minimum……this is going to be harder than I thought……………………..