NAOMI DECIDES TO RETURN...
Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. With her two daughters-in-law, she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back to your mothers' homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and me. May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage." Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.
"No," they said. "We want to go with you to your people." But Naomi replied, "Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? No, my daughters, return to your parents' homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me." And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.
1:6-10 - The future Naomi was facing was not suitable for herself and her two daughter-in-law's. The providers passed away, and now the women needed to find provision. The next thing we read is that Naomi hears news in Moab that the Lord has blessed the people in Judah by giving them good crops, a recognition that the God of Israel is sovereign in both the harvest and the famine (Deut. 28:23-24, 38-40).
With this news, Naomi decides to return to her homeland. Naomi, along with her daughter-in-law's got ready to leave Moab and return to the Promise Land, where God is providing a harvest for His people. As they being to make their way for Bethlehem (house of bread), Naomi tells her daughter-in-law's to go back to their mother's homes. Maybe this was because Naomi remembered what it was like to be a foreigner in the new land and all the trouble that she was dealt. Naomi displays lovingkindness at this moment as she says may the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage. Knowing that Oprah and Ruth would stand a better chance with their original families to survive and find another mate, she must send them off.
Moreover, as these ladies receive this news together with Naomi, they all broke down and wept. This displays multiple situations; first, the relationship between Naomi, Oprah, and Ruth was good. So, good that Naomi blesses them in the covenant name of the Lord may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and me. Second, because of all that has happened during their time together, Oprah and Ruth are connected to Naomi; they are sad. So sad that they broke down and wept, an expression signifying loud and emotional crying. Oprah and Ruth respond together. No, they do not want to leave Naomi's side, they say, we want to go with you to your people.
1:11-13 - Naomi responds to this plea with a logical rebuttal. She questions the ladies with three main concerns. First, I am too old to marry again. Naomi explains to the girls that she is too old to find a husband and even if a husband could be found, having a child seems out of the question because of age. Second, if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? Naomi questions their desire to stay by looking to the future. Would you wait for them to grow up? This seems irrational because of the time that would elapse; also, it would not be desirable for the child. Moreover, finally, Naomi declares things are far more bitter for me than for you because the LORD himself has raised his fist against me. Naomi considered herself corrupted and that her future was one of loneliness and disadvantage. Also, she did not want this type of lifestyle for Oprah and Ruth. The use of my daughters shows the love and compassion that Naomi is showing. She cares for these two women and wants the best for them. Logically, the best outcome for these two is to return home and leave Naomi.
1:14 - And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. Through the logical argument that Naomi shares, Oprah gives in and chooses to go home and be a wife again, while Ruth chooses to remain a daughter.
What is the significance of this moment? Was Orpah wrong in going back home? Or were either options acceptable? Comment below to discuss this...
Begin reading Ruth 1:15-18 and studying the importance of these verses...