Drawn to Your Home Folks

by John O’Malley

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“And Ruth said...thy people shall be my people” (Ruth 1:16).

Ruth’s testimony of her conversion included an interesting phrase. She told Naomi, “I want to be a part of your people.” Certainly, Ruth had been listening to the last ten years of Naomi’s conversation about her people. This phrase demands an investigation into the content and tone of Naomi’s conversation about her home folks.

Ruth’s statement includes two apparent thoughts. First, Naomi maintained a distinction from being a Moabite. No matter how long she spent in Moab, she never became a Moabite. We note this from Ruth’s confession that said “thy people.” 

Secondly, it is critical to note that though Naomi knew “all the dirt” on the home folks, she spent her time speaking of a people that were different because of their God, not because of their idiosyncrasies. Not one word that Naomi spoke during Ruth’s ten years of listening drove Ruth from God, but rather drew Ruth to God’s people.

Ruth wanted to meet a people who had God to fight their battles for them. She wanted to meet the people that had provision made for them in the wilderness and in famines. She wanted to meet the people who had escaped Egypt, marched around walls, and seen miracles in battle. She wanted to become one of those people.

How are you doing when it comes to your conversations about the people of God in your church?Have your conversations drifted to cynical, sarcastic, and shadowy gossip? Will this draw your lost family members to Christ? I think not! Let us maintain a standard in our conversations that is Biblical (Philippians 1:27; 1 Peter 2:12).

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Drawn to Your Homeland

 by John O’Malley

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And Ruth said...and where thou lodgest, I will lodge” (Ruth 1:16).

Home. For most people the very word stirs hearts and elicits a warm feeling within the bosom. During the Christmas holidays, a friend called me in the middle of unwrapping presents and heard such laughter and rejoicing as my four siblings and their spouses and children opened gifts. He asked me, “Can I come over?” He was content and enjoying the day with his own family, yet when he heard the thrill and joy in my “homeland,” he asked to be a part.

Naomi must have had many a conversation about the Promised Land in Ruth’s presence. Perhaps it was the stories of a land that flowed with milk and honey. Maybe it was the account of the grapes of Eschol that grew so large in their clusters that two men would have to carry them. Was it the incidents of days when seas parted and rivers stood on end to allow God’s people to move about? No matter the specific occasion, clearly Naomi had spoken enough about home that Ruth determined that she wanted to lodge wherever Naomi lodged.

What would happen if we began to speak more about our home in heaven? What if we told of streets of gold, or gates of pearl. What would happen if we began to speak of a place where sorrow, death, and tears are never present and will never be allowed access? What if we told of a Land of rest and reunion that never ends? What if our conversation included tidbits of heaven? You know, if it did, perhaps our testimony would draw people to our Homeland. Remember, we are merely strangers, aliens, and pilgrims on this earth; our Homeland is just beyond the veil of this life.

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Drawn to Your Hope 

by John O’Malley

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And Ruth said…for whither thou goest, I will go” (Ruth 1:16).

Hope is the sole possession of Naomi. She no longer has a husband; death came and took him. She no longer has her sons; death visited her home and took them. She is down to one daughter-in-law after the departure of Orpah. She will leave grave sites and grave memories in Moab. She seemingly is both empty-handed and empty-hearted. 

How can hope be her sole possession? Her circumstances and conditions indicate on the barometer of hope that a storm is here. Yet, you must recall that she had heard in Bethlehem-judah that the Lord had visited His people again with bread. 

You may say, “It must be a very special bread to make her walk sixty-seven miles home.” No, my friend, she is not headed home for the bread, but rather for the Baker of the bread. Hope has been kindled in her heart again. 

Ruth catches a glimmer in Naomi’s hope-filled eye and states, “Wherever you are going, I want to go. Your hope in the Bread-giver is the kind of life I want.” 

I wonder about us. Do many people see the hope of eternal life in our eyes or only the despair of the moment?Do many people see the hope of an ever-present help in our time of need or only the helplessness of our current crisis? I dare say, my friend, let the hope be seen. 

The inhabitants of this hopeless world need to see people who have hope. How this hope would attract people to our Saviour!

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Drawn to Your Heart 

by John O’Malley

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And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee” (Ruth 1:16)

 Ruth spoke of six things to which she was drawn because of Naomi. Consider the first comment: “Intreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee.” It was as if Ruth was telling Naomi, “Your testimony has drawn me to your heart.”

 The companionship and compassion of Naomi had become very precious to Ruth. Ruth did not want their hearts to become separated. She wanted no emotional, physical, or spiritual separation between them now. 

 Clearly, she thought that since the days of Moab were ending and the return to the Promised Land was their next step, she wanted to be there. Their hearts, once melded together by disappointment, death, and disaster, now were melded together because of faith’s fellowship. 

 How about the “Ruths” whom God has placed around you? Are they drawn to your heart? Has your Christian walk been consistent enough for them to receive a clear signal of your testimony? 

 Covenant with the Lord today that you will make the effort needed to send a strong signal of salvation’s message at the next encounter God provides you.

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Here to Stay

by John O’Malley

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And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lorddo so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16-17).

Ruth begins the testimony that marks her conversion to Israel’s one true God. On two recorded occasions, her mother-in-law has told her to go home to her culture, gods, and people. Naomi thought Ruth’s desire was emotional, not spiritual. However, unbeknownst to Naomi, the convicting power of God was at work in Ruth’s heart. 

Ruth made it completely clear to Naomi, “Do not ask me to leave anymore; I am here to stay. The gods of Moab cannot draw me back; I am here to stay. The culture of my people cannot draw me back; I am here to stay. The friends I once had cannot draw me back; I am here to stay.”           

Ruth knew her conversion had to come with conviction. She had a conviction to the way, words, and will of the one true God. Remember, her decision was not made in the comfort of Bethlehem, but rather in the deserts of Moab. She determined in the hard place that she would live for the one true God and Him alone.

Dear reader, you should notice Ruth’s conviction to stand on God’s will, words, and ways and compare them to the believers of today. It seems we have fewer “Ruth” believers today than ever. We have many who trek between Bethlehem-judah and Moab with only a conviction to yield to the will of self. We even have believers who have moved within Moab’s borders. These same believers spend their time convincing anyone who will listen to them that it is fine to be a spiritual drifter. 

Today, we need believers who will say, “Do not ask me to leave any more; I am here to stay!”

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“And Ruth Said”

by John O’Malley

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“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Naomi’s testimony in Moab was on display for her family and friends there. Though both girls viewed Naomi’s testimony, only one was drawn to the Lord. Every day in Moab, Ruth and Orpah watched Naomi’s devotion, dedication, and decisions. Each daughter-in-law made up her own mind about the God of the Hebrews as portrayed by Naomi. 

These girls had only known Moab’s idols and gods. Yet on the trip out of Moab, one girl had seen and heard enough about God that she was convicted of her own nature and converted to Israel’s God. When I read Ruth’s testimony, I am convinced of six things:

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to her heart. “entreat me”

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to her hope. “goest”

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to her homeland. “lodgest”

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to her home folks. “people”

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to Him. “God”

Naomi’s testimony drew Ruth to heaven.

Each believer sojourning here in Moab (the world) must be aware of his testimony before the lost and the Lord’s people. What would someone say of your testimony on this earth? The world watches your actions and reactions as you sojourn here. Your life is a reflection of the God in whom you say you believe. Will people convert to God because of your testimony?  

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Gone Back

by John O’Malley

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“And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law” (Ruth 1:15).

Naomi and Ruth stood as a pair in misery watching Orpah return to Moab. The moment was overwhelming. Discouragement’s trio became a duet. The remaining pair watched Orpah’s departure in agony. Naomi said to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister in law is gone back.”Naomi encouraged Ruth to do as Orpah had and go to her home.

Orpah went back to Moab’s people, principles, and priorities. She left the ways she had lived in for more than ten years. Orpah determined she would be more comfortable with the ways she once knew than to convert to another way. 

Today, some people are like Orpah. They once stood with God’s people in righteousness and truth. They used to sing the songs, pray the prayers, walk the walk, and talk the talk; but now they are gone. When the Orpahs depart, it has an effect on the remaining people.

The message of this verse does not solely rest in Orpah’s departure to Moab, but rather in Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi and go to Bethlehem-judah. Sometimes the departure of an Orpah forces us to a place of personal decision about our own “stick-ability.” However, remember this one principle: never permit the departure of an Orpah to affect you.

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The Moment of Decision

by John O’Malley

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“And Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her” (Ruth 1:14). 

The personal decision to depart from Moab had stirred the hearts of Orpah and Ruth. They had by the rules of compassion, custom, and culture, escorted Naomi to the border of Moab. Naomi had encouraged them to go home. Naomi reminded them of their mothers and fathers; she spoke of the peace and rest they would have by being home. Naomi prayed the Lord’s blessings on her daughters-in-law because they had been kind to her. Naomi urged them to go away from her dark cloud of judgment from God.

Orpah and Ruth each had to make a decision: “Do we go with Naomi and face uncertainty with her in Bethlehem-judah? Do we stay home with our people?” If it had been solely a legal decision, they would have been free from being required to go to Bethlehem. If it had been an emotional decision, then they would have been choosing between returning home to family or going with Naomi, the sole connection to their deceased husbands. If it had been a financial decision, they would have been choosing between a hard life in Moab and a hard life in Bethlehem.

The decision was not an emotional, financial, or legal issue on which to deliberate. That moment was a spiritual moment, with an invitation to make a decision. “Do I choose the ways of Jehovah or refuse them altogether?” That was the question to answer.

Reader, are you at a similar place of decision? Your response is either to kiss or cleave. Once and for all, why not forsake Moab’s ways and cleave to the truth of God’s Word? Those who try to play in Moab and worship in Bethlehem-judah, fail.

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They Wept, Again

by John O’Malley

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“And they lifted up their voice, and wept again” (Ruth 1:14). 

Agony has no fitting words. This mourning trio could only lift their voices and cry out. Their heartfelt expression, by custom and culture, was done by the repeated smiting of their hands on their breasts or on the tops of their heads while crying out in anguish. These sisters in suffering, struggles, and sorrow wept from their hearts. 

What a pitiful sight they must have been. Sorrow buried in the heart is oftentimes hard to relate to others in words. Orpah, Ruth, and Naomi paused to consider the emotional precipice of the moment. That mournful day would be long remembered by all involved.

The trio wept as they realized they were leaving their memories and mates buried in the sands of Moab. They wept again, when thoughts of being homeless, husbandless, and hopeless entered their sphere of thinking. The phrase that captures my focus is “They wept, again.”They were not hindered by the fact that they had wept a few moments earlier. 

I know it would be easy to discount the continual weeping because they were women. Weeping, and weeping again, is not an exclusive right of women. Men must learn that tears can be the words that speak the hurts of their heart.

When sorrow visits, and then visits again, the homes of our friends, remember a child of God is commanded to “weep with them that weep”(Romans 12:15).

Are you doing your job?

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The Hand of the Lord Is Against Me

by John O’Malley

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Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lordis gone out against me” (Ruth 1:13). 

Naomi looked at her girls, Ruth and Orpah. She saw the reasons they should not follow her to Bethlehem-judah. Naomi realized that if she could provide sons to them, would they be willing to wait? Would the girls be willing to keep these boys from marrying any other? She saw the impossibilities and improbabilities and said, “Nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lordis gone out against me.”

Naomi knew that her choice to stay in Moab cost the death of her two sons. It was no small grief to her that the girls were being affected because of her errors. She viewed this as the Lord’s hand being against her, and she saw how it affected them. Naomi was forcing the girls to consider the implications of coming with her. She gave them no bright prospects, only words of dismay.

Was the Lord’s hand really against her? Did He not have her best interests at heart? Yes, His hand can be against us, but God is really for us. Remember, God’s disciplining hand is also His gracious hand.

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Looking at Tomorrow 

by John O’Malley

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“Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons” (Ruth 1:12). 

Naomi knew her sin had cost her more than she ever thought she would have to pay. The guilt overwhelmed her as she spoke to Orpah and Ruth. She faced the surging tide of guilt due to her husband’s name being extinguished. She held great empathy for Ruth and Orpah’s loss of their husbands. 

She perhaps blamed herself for the loss of her three men, and now, her daughters-in-law's potential separation from their families in Moab. She saw herself as too old to be able to secure a husband and bear children. She saw herself as going into her golden years not having grandchildren to hold and help along in life. Guilt certainly reigned in her heart. 

It was overwhelming when she contemplated her future by the dilemmas of that difficult day. She saw herself as too old to have a husband; too old to have children; too far past hope to have hope for anything. Yet today’s dilemmas must not interpret the future. Today and tomorrow are both held in God’s hand.Little did she know that sixty-seven miles away was a place to live, a husband for Ruth, restoration of her husband’s name, friends who would love her, and a grandson she would hold and nurse. 

Are you guilty of governing your life with Naomi’s nature? Do you interpret the future by today’s dilemmas? I urge you to cease this fruitless, fearful, faithless way of living and look at today and the future as being in God’s hand. He is able to make them work together for good!

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Questions From a Hurting Heart

by John O’Malley

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“And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?” (Ruth 1:11). 

Sometimes the heart hurts so badly, we misunderstand the deeds of others and can only see our own hurt. The daughters-in-law were struggling with empathetic emotions for Naomi. They knew, in part, what she was going through. They reached out to Naomi with their statements of being willing to follow her home. They wanted to help Naomi. 

Naomi wrestled with her guilt of living in Moab apart from God’s design. She told the girls to go home. She asked them why two young widow girls would want to go with her. She asked them if they thought she could bear any more children for them to have husbands according to God’s law. Her questions reveal that her hurting heart felt so empty that she could not give fellowship, friendship, or a future to Ruth and Orpah. 

Ruth and Orpah were not looking for what Naomi could provide for them. They were looking to be a balm to their mother-in-law’s aching heart. 

Do you have a friend with a hurting heart? Find a way to get to their side and let them know you have come, not to take, but to give them your prayers and presence. Stand with them in this hour, for they need you more than they realize at this moment.

Friend, are you the one with the heart that aches? Your friends are not coming to hear your heart’s guilt in having nothing to offer. Rather, they are coming to give you the friendship and fellowship you need. Ponder this poetic thought:

Friend, have you a hurt that runs so deep, that it is all that you can see? 

I, your companion, am here for you standing upon a prayer-bent knee.

I did not come for your provision, or for your humble protection.

I have come just to be your friend and offer you my compassion.

-- John M. O’Malley

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“Thy People” Is Not Enough

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By John O’Malley

“And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people” (Ruth 1:10). 

Ruth and Orpah were faced with a difficult decision. They had to choose to either go to Bethlehem-judah with their deceased husband’s mother, Naomi, or go home and live with their families. They were making the choice between Naomi’s people or Moab’s people. This difficult decision ultimately revealed their spiritual condition.

These two daughters said, “We will return with thee unto thy people.” Yet we know only one daughter-in-law went with Naomi. Orpah seemingly spoke the right words, but saw it only as identification with Naomi’s people. Yet,when Ruth spoke alone, she not only repeated what Orpah said, but expanded it and said, “Your God will be my God.”

Many will make decisions to follow because of others, but they never finish the journey. Making our decisions to follow God based solely on human relationships is not the right and lasting way. We must make our decisions to follow God based on our relationship to Him.

Why not be a Ruth kind of follower and follow God because of your relationship with Him and not your relationships to others?

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The Hardship of Goodbye

By John O’Malley

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“The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept” (Ruth 1:9). 

The type of ministry with which we as a family are involved, places upon us the necessity of saying goodbye every week to friends. Some of those friends, we will get to see again in a matter of months or even a year. Yet there are others we may not see again. Saying goodbye is not our favorite thing to do; we would rather only say hello. 

Naomi, on her journey from Moab, reached a place where she thought that her daughters-in-law should return to their people, culture, gods, and ways. She bid farewell to her daughters-in-law. Her bidding farewell to them brought tears from the eyes and the heart. She kissed them and told them to go home.

The goodbye was sorrow-filled. Naomi wished God’s best for their future as young widows. She bid them farewell and wished God’s best for them to find peace in their hearts and at home. This peace and rest was something that Naomi had not had in a long time. This farewell was sorrowful, but she had days of hellos ahead in Bethlehem-judah. 

Reader, you may have to say goodbye to a loved one or a lost one. Those goodbyes are never easy. Yet we know that there will come a day where we will never say goodbye again.There will come a day when we will only say hello!

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Thank God for Friendship

by John O’Malley

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“And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me” (Ruth 1:8). 

The old preacher said to the younger preacher, “If in this life’s course you are given five real friends, you will be most blessed.” Truly, real friends are hard to find. Their value cannot be assessed with money. God is so good to allow us to make friends and to be a friend.

Naomi had made friends with Ruth and Orpah. Ruth and Orpah were certain of one thing: Naomi had been kind to them in Moab. They had lost their husbands, yet Naomi had lost both her husband andher sons. There was a quality about Naomi that they appreciated, and the two responded with kindness. The widowed sisters-in-law, standing somewhere near Moab’s border, paused to hear Naomi’s words. What would she say to them? 

Naomi looked at two girls who had been through so much. They had lost their husbands and now did not know what to do. Ruth and Orpah, numb from their loss, contemplated heading to Bethlehem-judah with Naomi. Their mother-in-law, aching with loneliness, turned and uttered these words, “Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lorddeal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.”

Reader, you may be dealing with a problem right now. Do not allow yourself to become so absorbed in your grief that you miss the treasure of your friends.You say, “I have no friends to tell my woes and worries to right now.” Remember, “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). 

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The Journey Home

By John O’Malley

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“Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah” (Ruth 1:7).

Sometimes, in Scripture, we are prone to bypass the biographical, historical, and geographical details in a verse in order to get to the bigger elements of the story. Our focus verse would be easy to overlook, but this verse makes me consider three things. It helps me consider Naomi’s trials, her testimony, and her trip. 

Consider with me Naomi’s trials. “Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was.The child of God would do well to note that no matter how far you have gone from God’s will, you can come home!This thought should be both precious and pleasant to all readers. Moab had been a chain around the family of Elimelech, and the day Naomi walked out, that chain was broken. Your trials are never permanent; they end when you start your journey home. 

Then contemplate Naomi’s testimony. “…and her two daughters in law with her.”Naomi, though in Moab, must have lived a life of some spiritual value. She maintained enough of a testimony before her daughters-in-law that one of them converted to the true God. Her testimony was evident through the disappointments of Moab and the death of her husband and sons. Ruth saw enough light and truth in Naomi to come to the faith. 

Now look at Naomi’s trip. “…they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.”Three women begin the journey home to Bethlehem-judah. The sixty-seven miles would have been long, arduous, and heavy-hearted. However, though the conditions were adverse, there was comfort in knowing they were headed home. Reader, never allow your trials to affect your testimony; you see, you are headed home! 

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Going Home

By John O’Malley

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“Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lordhad visited his people in giving them bread” (Ruth 1:6). 

Naomi, widowed and coping with the loss of her two sons, determined that Moab would take nothing more from her. She left Bethlehem-judah full, and then left Moab empty. She had experienced emptiness in her home, her heart, and also in her home going. She determined in her heart that her days would be better spent in Bethlehem-judah.

Her determination was kindled when news out of Bethlehem-judah indicated that God had visited His people in giving them bread. Moab was quite a distance from home (sixty-seven miles), but news from home has a way of finding its way to you when God sends the messenger. She heard news of bread. It would not be the bread that would bring her home; but rather, she would leave Moab because of the Baker.

The news reminded her of the glory of the LORD. “the Lord”

The news reminded her of the grace of the LORD. “Had visited”

The news reminded her of the guardianship of the LORD. “his people”

The news reminded her of the goodness of the LORD. “in giving them bread”

How long has it been since His glory was revealed in your life? Are you living with an awareness of His grace? Have you wandered away from His guardianship? When was the last time that you sensed His goodness? Moab makes people forget how good home really was. 

Dear reader, if you have made Moab your home, back in Bethlehem-judah you will experience His glory, grace, guardianship, and goodness. There is one way to come back, and it is found in the third word in the verse. Why do you not arise and get back?

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Alone in Moab

By John O’Malley

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“And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband” (Ruth 1:5).

There is no feeling of loneliness like the one following the death of a loved one. Our hearts grow accustomed to our loved ones always being there. Parents anticipate watching their children grow; yet, they ache with loneliness when, standing by the graves of their children, they have to say goodbye. When a spouse who is determined to grow old with their companion, attends the funeral of their soul mate, they are left feeling like an appendage has been severed, and they cannot stop the bleeding. When a child stands by the grave of a parent and bids adieu, the ache of loneliness shudders their soul as the casket and the earth entomb the one who gave them counsel, comfort, and confidence.

Loneliness must have had its icy grip on the empty heart of Naomi. Was it possible for her to be wrung out any more? When she stood by the sandy graves of Moab, she must have felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness. When her husband died, she felt alone; yet she did have the comfort of leaning upon her sons. However, now buried in the family’s plot in Moab are her husband and her sons. She must have stared at the sand with loneliness as she buried her two boys. Mahlon and Chilion were two grown men whose deaths left two childless wives and a widowed mother. 

Yes, loneliness moved into Naomi’s heart and home like an unwelcome guest. She was left alone by the death of her family. However, the Heavenly Father had not left her alone. The next verse begins “Then she arose.”The opening phrase certainly stands in contrast to verse five. Loneliness had extended its grip on her heart. Death had taken her husband and children, but she determined she would not be left alone in Moab. 

Though loneliness may reach to grab your heart today, determine not to yield to his icy grip.You may be lonely, but is it not time to move on?

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Taking Wives From Moab

By John O’Malley

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“And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years” (Ruth 1:4).

There is a danger in thinking that our decisions to sin affect only ourselves. In the case of Elimelech, little did he realize that when he moved to Moab, he would leave his sons with the impression that since it was fine to move to Moab, it must be fine to marry Moabites.

How quickly personal standards will drop when we move from the place of God’s will to the place of our choosing!All Israelites knew that they were not to marry anyone outside of the children of Israel. Why did Mahlon and Chilion choose to marry apart from God’s law? 

Clearly, the opportunity to sin came because they were living outside of God’s will due to their father’s decision to move to Moab. Elimelech’s sin of compromise by sojourning in Moab bred two sins of compromise in his sons. They sinned in their marriages and in maintaining a life in Moab.

Friend, you may be continuing in a sin that you have held on to for years thinking it only affects you. You are wrong. It will affect those around you also! Have you moved to Moab? Pack your bags today and move back into God’s will. Did someone else bring you to Moab? Move back into God’s will today! Moab will take you further, keep you longer, and cost you more than you ever planned.

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And She was Left

By John O’Malley

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“And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons” (Ruth 1:3).

Death is an occasional visitor to most homes. In the Book of Ruth, death’s visit had orphaned and widowed three people in Moab. These three people should not have been in Moab, but Elimelech had let famine drive him from his home. His death left his family in Moab with only bitter memories.

Left alone to raise two sons in Moab—the very thought is overwhelming—Naomi faced the choice forced upon every widow: “What do I do now?” She made her choice, not based upon her faith relationship, nor upon her family relationship; but clearly upon her feelings. 

You can almost hear the decision process in her mind: “Well, my boys havegrown up in Moab, and my husband isburied here. The boys are interested in a couple of girls here. What is there really that can I go back to in Israel? It is a sixty-seven mile trip; I am just not ready for that. There have been so many changes in my life; I just want to keep things normal right now. I believe I am going to stay.” 

“And she was left”says it all. Moab is not the Promised Land. Maybe a famine drove you into Moab. Maybe a death has stranded you in Moab. If you find yourself in Moab, get out! Under Satan’s influence, Moab will continue to take from you and leave you empty.You say, “There is no way I can get any emptier!” Friend, if you read ahead, you will see that Moab will also take Naomi’s two boys and a daughter-in-law. Though Moab can threaten to leave you alone and take everything from you, Moab cannot take away God’s guiding hand. God’s hand can bring you home again from Moab.

Think about it...

Buy Reflections from Ruth: The Pain from Leaving (Volume 1)