Summary: Building on our last message from Ruth we come to a powerful conclusion: “Sometimes when you abandon God, your life has disastrous consequences ... but, God is still faithful … even when we aren't!”

Naomi Returns Home

Ruth 1:6-22

- Last week we set the foundation of Ruth around some very difficult times

-- Famine in the land, family moves out of God’s land, disobeys God’s commands

-- Deut 7:3-4, “Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.”

- Let’s see where this story takes us today to encourage our hearts

- Read Ruth 1:6-18

∆ Point 1 – Naomi Returns Home

- One thing is certain: The future was very bleak for Naomi and her two DILs

-- Unable to remain where they were, they had to do something else

- In essence, they did the only thing they possible – returned home

-- APP: Great lesson for us here – you CAN go home, God will still receive you

- Naomi obviously had great love for these two young ladies

-- Her compassion is seen in v6 to take care of them and help them first

-- What she has heard is that the Lord has/had prepared a way for food in Judah

-- Her compassion overflowing, she suggests that they return home

- This was not to get rid of them, but to give them the best chance at a life

-- It is a life without her and a life where they could find new husbands/loves

- Orpah and Ruth were obviously good wives to her sons

-- Her care and concern for their future is obvious here; she treats them well

- She offers a special blessing on them (v8), that God would show kindness

-- And then, she literally prays out loud that their families would receive them

-- APP: Even in the toughest of times, praying for someone is ALWAYS right

-- She was willing to pray for them, and for them to find new life at home

- The bible tells us (v9) that they wept aloud; literally, wailed loudly

-- They were expressing grief as well love for one another; they’d miss each other

-- APP: Here’s something to see: family being family even in the hardest times

- Naomi though is faced with a hard choice to send them off

-- She responds to them, out of sheer logic (v11-13); any of these make sense!

-- I am too old to have another husband

-- If I had more kids, would you wait for them to grow up?

-- It is bitter for me; because God has gone out against me

-- APP: Her hardship is that she feels that God has turned away from her!

- Naomi’s entire argument was what would be best for these two women

-- She is not thinking of herself, but of these ladies who could have a future

- However, look what happens when Ruth hears this logic (v14-18)

-- Ruth has chosen to remain a daughter to this woman who has loved her

-- Orpah was fine with leaving, and knew that the logic made sense

-- But Ruth was determined to stay with this woman and love her

- Ruth makes three promises to Naomi:

-- Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay

-- Your people will be my people and your God will be my God

-- Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried

- She commits to being a companion to Naomi no matter what happens

- She commits to adopting her God and serving honorably alongside her

- She commits to commemorating her as a daughter would, even buried with her

- Ruth gives up her culture, her religion, her family, and her preferences for her

-- She promises is she is unfaithful to Naomi that God would deal with her harshly

-- Re-read v17 for emphasis on her promise of commitment

- TRANS: When Naomi sees this determination, she softens

-- Her heart opens up to this commitment and she sees Ruth as her daughter

- Read Ruth 1:19-22

∆ Point 2 – Arrival of Naomi and Ruth in Bethlehem

- When Naomi originally left, she was from a wealthy (well-to-do) family

-- Her return caused the townspeople to really react in shock (v19)

-- “Can this be Naomi” is not a flattering comment; but a divisive one

-- Example: Is this really that nice young lady we used to know?

- Their comment is really one of disdain and back-biting

-- Their stirring is literally a reflection of how they feel about her family

-- It’s not “welcome home” -- but “did you hear about so and so …?”

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