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Rise and Return

September 4, 2019

Read Ruth 1:6-7


"Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah."


As we have read over the past two days, Naomi's situation could hardly be more bleak. She was a poor widow in a foreign land, grieving the loss of her husband and two sons. She had been there ten years, and at this point, I would venture to say, Naomi had hit "rock bottom" in every way, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But then she heard some good news from her homeland: "the Lord had visited His people in giving them food." So Naomi decided to rise up from her place in Moab and return to Judah. She had had enough, and it was time to go back.


When looking at Naomi in these above verses, we can see that she did three things: she heard, she arose, and she returned. These action verbs remind me of another story in the Bible, the prodigal son. See the similarities: "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father...'" (Luke 15:17-18).


In both these situations (Naomi and the prodigal son), we see God's amazing grace. He used the despairing situations caused by their personal choices to heighten their awareness of HIS provision and HIS lovingkindness that was waiting for them. They just had to get up and go back. My study bible states: "The word 'return' means repentance: 'to reverse your direction'. Naomi left the place she was to return to the place where she belonged." Beautiful.


How can we learn from Naomi today? Is there a place in your life that you need to hear the Good News, and truly believe that it is BETTER than what you are currently doing, thinking, or saying? Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that this one sinful thought, word, or action doesn't matter in the big scheme of things. Let's be careful; Naomi might have thought that same thing as she and her family first entered Moab a decade prior to her departure. Sin is a slippery slope.


After HEARING, let's do what Naomi did: RISE and RETURN. For me personally, in my thought life today, I want to avoid the potential pig sty of discouraging or doubtful words that I tend to say to myself. The very second I have them, I want to rise above them before I'm a major mental mess! I want to quickly confess them and return to the truth of God's Word. Repentance leads to rest.


Soul Sisters, let's hear, let's rise up, and let's return. He's waiting for you and me.


For further reading: Psalm 106:4-5; Psalm 77:10-14; Luke 15:18


Dear Lord,

You are "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness"(Psalm 103:8). Thank You! Show each one of us specific places in our lives that we need to hear Your words of truth. Convict our hearts with your Holy Spirit. Help us to believe that Your good news is the BEST way. Then, cause us to rise and return to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen



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