I started my correspondence course last week. I started to study the book of Ruth.
Read Ruth ch 1
Elimelech took his family to the land of Moab, while their was famine in the land of Bethlehem. The famine was sent by God as a result of the wickedness in the land. So Elimelech had to take responsibility for his actions. This lead to his death. His to sons Mahlon and Chilion married twe people to girls from the land of Moab Ruth and Orpah. Mahlon and Chilion also died in the land of Moab. they had a loss of joy in their life,see Ruth 1v 20. Naomi tells the people to call her Mara for the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. There is no telling what disobeying God will led to. Moab had left Naomi poorer than ever. This is very true of sin see Luke 15 . Naomi was in the land of Moab for 10 years before she heard of the blessing God had sent to his people in the land of Bethlehem. This was a message of mercy a word from God to change the direction of her life. She made a personal decision, a prompt decision and a proper decision. For her to have stayed in the land of Moab was only to have increased her grief. When she deiced to go back she made the right decison. Ruth 1 v5 tells us Naomi was a desolate and lonely woman, but Ruth 1 v 6 that she arose with her daughters in law to return from the land of Moab for she had heard the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread. Naomi had been brought to the end of herself when she decide it was time to return. God had been merciful to his people once more.Naomi heard of Gods mercy and thought on His mercy. God's mercy is never exhausted as far as his people are concerned. Naomi must have thought on all the good times she had before they left for the land of Moab. the decision to return for Naomi must have been a very hard one. ( this is the path that every backslider must take : see Hosea ch 14 in regard to the mercy of God and the responsibility of the backslider). Naomi had to humble herself to return, also to confess that she had been wrong. There had to be a cutting of ties. Returning to Bethlehem meant turning away from Moab. This is repentance Hosea 14 v 1-3. Naomi belived that was the most important part of her return. The message of what God was doing was short but Naomi had faith and it was strong. She stepped out believing what she had heard about God. Faith - even small faith is rewarded by God. Naomi returned at the beginning of the barley harvest. It meant that she could enjoy all that God had given to his people. This was a new beginning for Naomi as the land was bursting with life. Bethlehem was once more the house of bread. Naomi's return not only affected her life but also the life of Orpah and Ruth. Orpah must stand as a false professor but Ruth displays all the marks of a truly converted individual.