Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD’s hand has turned against me!” At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.”
If we focus too much on Naomi, if we only see the loss, we might miss that God is busy pouring out abundant grace and provision on God’s chosen people, Israel. The famine that drove Naomi and her family to Moab was now at an end! On the way back to her homeland, Bethlehem, Naomi attempts to isolate herself and sends her daughters-in-law away. It’s true that they would likely be better off returning to their own homes. Orpah does return to her family, yet Ruth refuses. Naomi has a reasonable plan which seems to be best for everyone!! Yet, God has something better! Even with all of Naomi’s protesting, Ruth refuses to leave her side. Has God ever overruled your agenda, disagreed with your well laid plans? Today, each time you look at your calendar, ask God to guide your day. Does it change the way you consider your plan for the day?