Ruth 1:11-13, “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!”
Naomi represents in my judgment wounded believers due to one or more tragedies and struggles in life wondering where is God in all these. As you read the story of Naomi, you come to learn that she was caught in between where she came from which reminded her of famine and where she was which reminded her of the loss of her husband and two sons.She had no husband to care and provide for her, and now no sons to do the same. No grandchildren, no one to carry the name of her husband and her children, no land to claim her own. A classic example of people who think they are forgotten by God .
In the midst of all these, she is left with two daughters in law who treated her kindly. Naomi showed them kindness which flowed from the out working of the internal, the God of her life. Though the daughters in law retained an affection for the gods of Moab (v. 15), Naomi was still faithful to the God of Israel, yet that was no hindrance to either side from love and kindness, and all the good offices that the relationship required. She had nothing to offer these two young women who had stuck by her side. Their husbands were dead, there was nothing to hold them together, they were free by law to either go back to their own mothers or remarry. They had a place to fall back on but not with Naomi. At crossroads she was about to lose another relationship forever, that of Orpah.
The greatest grievance of that poor condition to which she was reduced was that she was not in a capacity to do for them as she would have loved to, she says, “It grieves me more for your sakes than for my own that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me”. But she would have them first consider upon what terms, lest having set their hand to the plow, they should look back.
Would we say the Lord’s hand was against her? I wouldn’t say so unless I did not understand God’s providential will even in what appears to be a mess, tragic and painful. The Israelites rejoiced when God moved, however when there was a challenge ahead of them, they became paralyzed, wounded and lost, even thinking that God brought them out to destroy them. Nevertheless, there was something about Moses, he rejoiced in God’s ways. When you know the ways of someone especially trustworthy, faithful person and you expect them to come to your aid when you need them, if they don’t come as expected, you conclude there must be a good explanation behind the action. It’s not that they don’t care and are not coming through for you, it’s that there is something beyond what you know and think until he explains to you. There are things God allows that we have no clue what they are and even if He explained, we would not understand. When we know His ways, we take comfort knowing there is more to my pain. At the crossroad, I will have to decide to keep trusting that He is at work for something greater and grander for His glory with my life being a means by which He will use. Read David’s prayer in Psalm 25: ”4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day… 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. 12 Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. 13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. 14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. 15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.. 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You…”. The story of Naomi and Ruth is a clear picture of God’s providential will far greater than their needs. God has a bigger picture, let us consider His ways. Blessings Ev