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Worldview Bible
“Return”
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. The LORD grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!”
Ruth 1:8, 9

The Story: Naomi was probably quite well-meaning here. She knew – or so she believed – that no Moabite would ever be welcome among the people of Israel (Deut. 23:3-5). Invoking the Lord’s blessing on them, she therefore urged her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers’ homes, where they might yet be able to find a husband. Naomi acted in accord with her understanding of God’s covenant; yet, as she would discover, God’s covenant was a work-in-progress and would evidence surprising powers of inclusion neither she nor her neighbors could anticipate. The love she showed for her daughters-in-law overcame the bitterness she felt (vv. 20, 21); this, too, is evidence of the redemptive and renewing grace of God in her life. Further, let us not overlook the courage Naomi showed in this decision. She would have to make the journey back to Bethlehem on her own, without the help and companionship of her daughters-in-law. The journey back to full restoration with the Lord can sometimes be lonely and difficult; however, they who are truly called and repentant will take up courageously, relying on the grace and favor of the Lord.

The Structure: We note some development in the character of Naomi. We sense her genuine concern and compassion for her daughters-in-law, and we hear the first expression of her faith in the Lord. She seems to be more concerned for their wellbeing than her own, yet it is clear that she was trusting in the God of Israel to provide for her as well. Only the Lord can renew and restore His people, rebuilding their lives from the ruin that sin has made of them. Naomi clearly hoped this was so, and that she might again find shelter and relief among the faithful people of Israel. Yet she could not at this stage have understood just how great the grace of God would be to her. Naomi’s step of faith, in turning to Israel and seeking the wellbeing of others, would be just the kind of foundation God could build on to bring further redemption and renewal to her and to His people.

God’s great works of redemption and renewal begin in little steps of faith and gestures of love. To what steps and gestures is God calling you today? Who might benefit from His ongoing work of redemption and renewal in you? In what ways?

The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 
Turning
famine

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. So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Ruth 1:6, 7

Read more...
 
Left, Left
famine

But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
Ruth 1:3-5 Read more...
 
Famine Flight
famine

In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.
Ruth 1:1, 2 Read more...
 
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