6 She and her daughters-in-law set out to return from the territory of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to his people’s need by providing them food. 7 She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah.
The prodigal…Naomi? We all know the story of the prodigal son in Luke. But have you ever thought of the similarities between the two? The prodigal son says, “I will arise and go to my father,” and Naomi decides “to arise and return to her homeland.”
I never thought of that before, but it brings me back to so many different memories of friends and loved ones who were far away from the Lord. As He graciously drew them in, they came back home, surrounded by a rejoicing community who loved them dearly. These stories bring us to tears.
Do you have a loved one or a friend whom you have personally seen turn back to the Lord after a season of rebellion and running away? I’m reminded that no one is too far from the reach of God’s grace. The lost are saved, the sick are healed, all who are condemned are freed from shame, and the dead are raised at the sound of His great Name.
Naomi, her husband and two sons had left their home in Bethlehem due to the famine. Yes, they were poor when they left. However, Naomi had far more when she left home than she did when she returned. While in Moab, her husband and two sons died. Following the deaths of her loved ones, she found herself penniless and without hope.
That’s a dark and frightening place. Have you ever been there…in the pit of despair? I have. I remember when I witnessed my sister almost committing suicide. This brought me to the lowest point in my life. Only then, when I realized Jesus was all I had, did I understand that He was also all I needed.
After hearing of God’s provision in Judah, Naomi decided to return. When she arrived home, the town of Bethlehem rejoiced! However, Naomi herself had reached a point of desperation. But she discovered that the only one to whom she could turn for help was her faithful God, who had never stopped caring for her.
The Lord had wonderful blessings in store for Naomi. A child would be born one day through her daughter-in-law, Ruth, who was to be the grandfather of King David. David was a man after God’s own heart. He would become Israel’s greatest king, and the one through whom the Messiah of Israel would one day be born.
Let us never forget that no matter how far we stray from God, He is always close to us and waiting for us to return to His arms. Life is hard, but His love is real. Jesus, gentle and lowly in heart, calls to us, “Come back home.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What is your personal testimony of desperation and coming back home? Can you articulate it?
- Who needs to hear your testimony right now? Who needs to hear of the living hope we have in Jesus?
Pray for partners already working in the locations our teams will go. Pray that our teams will be a blessing to them and to their work. Pray for energy, health, and joy for them as they continue the long-term ministry.