RUTH 1:9B – 22 (NIV). Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” 14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. 15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
Today, we will continue in Ruth.
In the last part of verse 9 and 10, it states, “Then she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
Naomi loved her daughter-in-laws and they loved her. Naomi kissed them and Ruth and Orpah wept. They did not want to leave Naomi. Take a moment to picture this. I’m sure this was such an emotional time for these three ladies. They had all suffered so much, but they turned and loved on each other for support.
They did not want to leave but as we see in verse 11 through 13, Naomi tries to explain to them all the reasons they should not stay with her. She believes she has nothing to offer them. She has no other sons for them to marry. She believed no man would want her. If she did find a man, were these ladies going to wait for her to have children and for them to grow up – at least eighteen or twenty years?
Naomi was counting the costs for them to stay with her. She showed them what they would be losing if they followed her.
Do you count the cost when you decide or decided to follow Jesus??
Orpah then kissed Naomi and left, BUT Ruth clung to Naomi. I picture this young lady holding onto this older lady whom she loved so much. A daughter-in-law holding on to a mother-in-law, clinging to her. Naomi tries to tell her Orpah is leaving, go with her. See she is leaving. Ruth did not care!
Do we cling to our in-laws in this way? Do you love your in-laws as deep as Ruth did?
In verses 16 to 17, Ruth gives such a moving answer.
Ruth was determined to go where Naomi went.
Ruth was determined to stay where Naomi stayed.
Ruth was determined Naomi’s people would be her people.
Ruth was determined she would die and be buried wherever Naomi was.
And the one that means the most, Ruth promised Naomi’s God would be her God.
Remember Ruth was a Moabite, however, she did not let that stop her from worshipping God. She had come to know God through Naomi and Naomi’s family. She knew God was the one and only true God.
Naomi and her family must have showed their faith to her. Naomi and her family must have taught her about God through action and words.
Do you teach others in your family that my not know God or may be of a different religion, about God in words or actions?
But what means more is God accepted Ruth and blessed Ruth greatly, which we will see in the following chapters. God chose Ruth a Moabite woman who is a faithful woman to become the great-grandmother of King David – a direct line to Jesus.
God never showed partiality in the Old Testament. Jesus never showed partiality when He walked this earth. And today we can know, God does not show any partiality now.
Isn’t that wonderful to know that even though you may not be from a wealthy family – God Loves you?
Isn’t that wonderful to know that even though you live in a different county – God Loves you?
Isn’t that wonderful to know that God doesn’t care – HE LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY?
He doesn’t care about race, sex, or what country you are from. You are God’s child.
Naomi comes to see Ruth’s is very determined (maybe a little hard headed). Naomi finally realized Ruth was following her and she could not talk her out of it. I’m sure Naomi saw the determination and the faith of Ruth. So the two women leave together.
They reach Bethlehem and the whole town is talking. They see two new women walking into town. Just like when we see someone new walk in church or our bible study, we start asking who is that. The verses say the people asked, “Can this be Naomi?” Evidently the news of her hardship she had experienced had traveled to this town. News traveled then just like it does now (just probably not as fast.)
Naomi told them not to call her Naomi. She wanted to be called Mara, which means “bitter”. She had become very bitter of all God had taken from her. She lost sight of God and her relationship with Ruth. Naomi had lost sight of what God had left her with. Naomi had lost the faith that Ruth had seen in her.
Sometimes when things are not going well we look at all the bad things. We never look at the people God has placed in our lives during this trial. We never look at all the things God has given to us and continues to give. We can only see the bad not the good.
Sometimes the bad is a lot easier to see than the good. I think we take the good for granted. We don’t understand why the bad is happening so we feel sorry for ourselves without looking at the good.
Are you going through bad times now?
Are you looking at all the bad God is causing and not what He has given you?
Are you taking the people God has placed in your life for granted? (in-laws, friends, coworkers?)
God may have placed these people in your life at this time to help you.