Friday, February 17, 2017

That Lonely Road

So Ruth set off with Naomi on a lonely road. They walked for miles and days, not knowing what might be waiting for them around the bend. The ladies knew heartache. Both were widows.

Naomi, the older of the two, had experienced more than her share of sadness. While she lived in Judah, she, her hubby, and two sons experienced a famine. Hunger drove them to leave family and friends and head to greener pastures. They traveled east to Moab. 

How hard would it be to pick up
 and leave for parts unknown? 
You're hungry. 
No job.
Homeless. Searching. 
Scared out of your mind. 

Would Naomi have left Judah if she'd known her hubby and two sons would die in Moab? I doubt it, but since we can't see into the future, we make decisions based on current circumstances.

Two daughters-in-law chose to return with Naomi. All three started out on that lonely road to Bethlehem.  Somewhere along the way, Naomi insisted the two young women go back to their mother's house and worship Chemosh, the god of the Moabites. Not much is known about this god, but he was supposed to give protection. Ha! He hadn't protected these three women, had he? Truth be told, he couldn't. He wasn't real.

At this point in the story, we might say the same thing about the One and True and Only God. Why didn't He protect the ladies from heartache? Why didn't He give them a better life instead of a bitter one? 

He had great plans for Naomi and Ruth, but they must experience the bad stuff to get to the good stuff.

To understand the outcome, we must wait for the author to write, "The End." Okay, back to the story.

Naomi insisted these two young women return home. Her pleading caused them to make a choice.  One turned around on the road to return to the familiar and one chose to go forward into the unknown.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, wept, and waved goodbye. I wonder what God had planned for her had she stayed with Naomi. We all make choices, and sometimes our choice causes us to miss God's blessing. Ruth trudged on in faith.

Yes, the road is difficult and decisions can be hard. Hang in there. Stay focused. God has good stuff headed your way. Let's see what happens to Ruth.

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