THEN SHE AROSE:
(quwm/qum) from a root word which describes the physical action
or rising up or standing as the result of rising up.
same phrase was used to describe David's arising and moving on after his
first son's death...
"But when David saw that his
servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was
dead; so David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said,
"He is dead. So David arose (6965)
(quwm/qum) from the ground, washed, anointed himself,
and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and
worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they
set food before him and he ate." (2Sa 12:19, 20).
Jehovah had "surely seen the affliction of" (cf
Ex 3:7 3:8) Naomi and so moves heaven and earth (rain, sun, fruitful
grain harvest) to inspire Naomi to move on.
There is a time when we
must choose to RISE UP and lay hold of what we have been laid hold of by Christ
for. we must forget
"what lies behind and (reach) forward to
what lies ahead...(pressing) on toward the goal for the prize of
the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (see note
We must make a decision of our
imperative - an command to
be carried out even with a sense of urgency) the hands (the
author has just given a lengthy discourse on divine discipline which is
not joyful at the moment we are experiencing it) that are weak and the knees that are
feeble, and make straight paths for (our) feet" (Heb 12:12,13-note).
Run Naomi run to
Keeping God and learn by your experience the truth that
"no good thing...
from those who walk uprightly"..."for the LORD God is a sun and
shield. Jehovah gives grace and glory." (Ps 84:11-note)
"grace is sufficient for you
(Naomi and for you dear reader), for (His)
dunamis is perfected in (our) weakness"..."when (we
are) weak, then (we are) strong." (2Cor 12:9, 10)
How important it is for us to look expectantly for the hand of the LORD in every event
in our life. He is in the process
of training up His children to full maturity, that we "may share His
holiness" (Heb 12:10, 11-note)
and be "conformed to the image of His Son" (Ro 8:29-note), the Perfecter
(Finisher) of the race of life (He 12:2-note).
So keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as you
"walk through the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4-note),
as your dreams die and all earthly hope seems lost. Recall to your mind
God's promise of His faithfulness (Lam 3:21, 22, 23, 24) even when the
clouds seem to hide Him. That's when faith walks out and takes God at
His Word (Heb 11:6-note)
and is enabled to see "Him Who is unseen" (Heb 11:27).
"God is in the heavens. He does
whatever He pleases" (Ps 115:3-note)
exercising His sovereignty, orchestrating events behind the scenes and
all the while allowing each individual free will to make the decisions
that determine destiny.
Naomi's decision would indeed
determine the destiny of Ruth and of many who would come after her. Let
us thank God that she arose from her grieving and moved toward God,
although had she chosen not to do so, God's purpose of raising up a
Redeemer would not have been thwarted (Job 42:2)
(Study the "Attributes
Matthew Henry calls our attention to
good affection Naomi bore to the land of Israel" specifically noting
that "Though she could not stay in it while the famine lasted,
she would not stay out of it when the famine ceased. Though the
country of Moab had afforded her shelter and supply in a time of need,
yet she did not intend it should be her rest for ever"
for as Henry rightly observes "no land should be that but the holy
land, in which the sanctuary of God was, of which He had said, "This is
My resting place for ever and ever" (Ps 132:14-note,
NIV) Naomi began to think of returning, after the death of her two sons.
When death comes into a family, it ought to reform what is amiss there. Earth is made bitter
to us, that heaven may be made dear."
WITH HER DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW THAT SHE MIGHT RETURN
(turn back) FROM THE LAND OF MOAB:
"she turneth back from the fields of Moab" (YLT)
she and her daughters-in-law got ready to go back from the country of
The word for "her daughters-in-law" is literally "her brides" or the
brides of her sons. "Land of Moab" is more accurately the "fields of
Moab". It's interesting that in the fields of Moab where
the grain was grown that Naomi learned there was food in the fields of Israel.
is the Hebrew verb shub which conveys the basic meaning of movement, spatially or spiritually
and is variously translated turn back, restore and repent.
Scripture is replete with picturesque idioms emphasizing man's responsibility
in repentance -
"incline your heart unto the Lord
your God" (Josh 24:23)
yourselves to the LORD & remove the foreskins of your heart" (Jer
your heart from evil O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long
will your wicked thoughts Lodge within you?" (Jer 4:14)
"break up your fallow ground (usually
cultivated land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season),
for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on
you" (Hos 10:12).
the central role of our heart. All these expressions of man's
pictured in the Hebrew verb shub which combines the two requisites of
repentance -- turn
from evil and turn to God and to good. However lest we forget that even
repentance is a gift of His grace, we need to be mindful
"think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance
and patience" for it is "the kindness of God leads
(us) to repentance" (Ro 2:4-note)
Repenters always find God has the
welcome mat out.
Is it possible for someone who has
dwelt in a "distant land" for many years to come home again? The
answer is always "yes". Speaking to rebellious Israel God
"though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white
as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
wandered away from God? (And which of us can honestly say "Not me, no
never"!) Do you think you been away too long? Do you fear His response
if you were to return now?
Take heart for Jesus Who is
yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Heb 13:8-note)
"the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (John
Even as God was leading Naomi back , He had affirmed to Jacob
I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back
(shub) to this land for I will not leave you until I have done what I
have promised you." (Genesis 28:15)
In both Naomi's and Jacob's "returns" God was working out His
sovereign purpose of redemption.
Bible Knowledge Commentary observes
is a key word in Ruth. Hebrew forms of this word are used several times
in this first chapter. Here is an apt illustration of repentance.
Naomi reversed the direction she and her husband had taken. She turned
away from Moab and the errors of the past. She turned her back on the
tragic graves of her loved ones and headed back to Judah, her homeland."
J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge
commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
To where was Naomi returning?
To Israel. To her God. To her people.
Have circumstances occurred in
your life that have caused you to meander off the path and into "Moab"?
Will you "remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent
and do the deeds you did at first"? (Rev 2:5-note)
by what transpired in the next 3 chapters in Naomi's life, you can be
"confident...that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until
the day of Christ Jesus." (Php 1:6-note)
every person ever born was at one time in the "land of Moab",
helplessly mired in sin, engaged in idolatrous practices and at
continual enmity with the
Almighty (Ro 5:6, 8, 10-notes
Today in the Word
A book recently tackled one of life's
minor puzzles--how do homing pigeons find their way home? The answer
seems to be: we're not sure. One theory is that young pigeons develop an
""odor map"" by smelling odors that are carried to their homes on the
winds from various directions. Another theory is that the birds use the
earth's magnetic field to determine course and position. Whatever
technique homing pigeons use, their instincts are uncanny. They always
finish their journeys in the right place...The Bible is filled with
stories of people who did and of those who did not finish well. They
have much to teach us....The story of Ruth gets us off to a great start.
This young woman from Moab definitely finished well. She became the
great-grandmother of David. Ruth's name is on a short list of women
singled out for special mention in the genealogy of Jesus. She was part
of the Savior's royal bloodline and is therefore a background figure in
the Christmas story. (Today
in the Word)
FOR SHE HAD HEARD IN THE LAND OF MOAB THAT THE LORD HAD VISITED
(Ge 21:1; 50:25; Ex 3:16; 4:31; 1Sa 2:21; Lk 1:68; 19:44; 1Pe 2:12-note):
This is the first mention of God's
covenant Name, Jehovah (I Am) in a way that clearly acknowledges He is
sovereign and in control of the affairs of both individuals and nations.
(Ru 1:13, 21, 2:20, 4:12, 13, 14, 15- see notes
What is so beautiful about Ruthís story is that it never loses sight of
Jehovah, Whose covenant love assures the culmination of this short story
and of all history exactly as He has purposed. As you take time to
linger and meditate on this narrative jewel, you will find the presence
of the "Author and Perfecter" radiating forth from every verse and your
faith will be encouraged to hold fast to the One Who is "I Am".
God is not a
"genie" but He is truly the great I Am. He is anything and everything
we will ever
need no matter how dark our circumstances or how hopeless our outlook.
The key is to glance at your circumstances but gaze at your God, and
your "uplook" will change the perspective of your "outlook"!
Naomi may have felt like God had
dealt bitterly but she still sought His face even in the midst of her
dark despair! What a challenging lesson for us all. Even when we are feeling hopeless,
we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, not on our circumstances. Then we need
to behave according to what
He leads us to do. In this case He was leading Naomi to return to home and
ultimately to her
Kinsman-Redeemer. She may have been
emotionally downtrodden but she
retained her hope in God. Paul experiencing suffering chose a similar
know Whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to keep
that which I have entrusted to Him until that day". (2Ti 1:12-note)
God's people need to
learn from the
"perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope!" (Ro
When Naomi was finding life bleak, Ruth chose to stand by her
mother-in-law rather than leave her to face the journey into
the future all alone. Ruth's steadfast commitment to
Naomi was God's provision to enable her to endure. Naomi was discovering
the glorious truth that
"No temptation (test) has overtaken
you but such as is common to man and God is faithful, Who will not allow
you to be tempted (tested) beyond what you are able, but with the
temptation (test) will provide the way of escape also, that you
may be able to endure it (not that you may be able to
"escape it"!)." (1Corinthians 10:13-note)
God's provision of bread in Israel and Ruth in Moab provided
of escape for Naomi. And He will do the same for you in your hour of
testing. Beloved, trust in
with all your heart and don't lean on your own ways in your hour of
means primarily to pay attention to or to observe with care or interest.
For example Moses gives us a record of the faithfulness and power of God
in keeping His promise and providing an heir miraculously through Sarah: ...
"Then (always ask -
when is "then"?) the LORD took note (paqad)
of Sarah as He had said (when God gives a promise beloved, He keeps it!), and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised
(note repetition for emphasis = "He had said" ~ "He had promised")."
Again in Genesis as Joseph is
about to fall asleep, to the very end firmly trusting in God to
carry out His promise (to bring them back to Canaan - a promise God
fulfilled 4 centuries later in the exodus) and thus declaring to his
"I am about to die, but God will
surely take care (paqad - NIV = "surely come to your aid")
of you, and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on
oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. Then Joseph made the sons of
Israel swear, saying, "God will surely take care take care (paqad
- NIV = "surely come to your aid", "doth certainly inspect you" YLT,
"will surely visit you", NKJV) of you, and you shall carry my bones up
from here." (Genesis 50:24, 25)
mean to visit for good or for evil. The visit was for good in the
and is paraphrased with this meaning by the NIV which renders it
"the LORD (Jehovah)
had come to the aid of His people"
David cried out
"Remember me, O LORD, in Thy favor
toward Thy people.
Visit (paqad) me with
Thy salvation." (Ps 106:4-note)
In sum, paqad conveys the idea that Jehovah directs His
attention to His people, inquires into their state and is thus informed
and able to take steps to meet their need. God was not deaf or blind
to Naomi's suffering, even as He had not been deaf to the groaning of
Israel oppressed under the cruel hand of Pharaoh, for as Moses writes
was concerned (paqad) about the sons of Israel and...He had seen their
affliction" (Exodus 4:31)
About the same time that "Jehovah visited
His people" in
Bethlehem, another barren downcast Hebrew woman had a "visit"
(paqad) Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two
daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD."
The Greek verb used by the
(LXX) to translate
episkeptomai (see word study)
(1980) (epi =
upon + skťptomai = looking at or paying attention to) which has
the idea of going to see with the goal of relieving distress, sickness
or bondage. The verb often described the visiting of the sick and in the
NT almost exclusively refers to a visitation for good. The idea is to
look upon one in distress with mercy, favor or regard.
James uses episkeptomai to
"define" real religion writing that...
This is pure and undefiled religion
in the sight of our God and Father, to visit (episkeptomai)
orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by
the world. (James 1:27-note)
For example, in Luke we find
"Zacharias...filled with the Holy Spirit
(prophesying)..."Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has
(episkeptomai) us and accomplished redemption
- word study) (how? by
sending a Kinsman-Redeemer!) for His people, and has raised up
a horn of salvation (Messiah) for us in the house of David (a
descendent from the line of Boaz and Ruth) His servant...78
Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on
high shall visit
(Luke 1:67, 68, 69, 78)
What a fascinating parallel between Luke and Ruth, where God's
draws Naomi back to Bethlehem where Jehovah would accomplish redemption for Ruth and place her in the line of
the Redeemer of Israel and all mankind. Naomi had eyes to
recognize and a heart to respond to the "Lord's
and was rewarded.
Centuries later Israel is recompensed for failure to
Luke recording Jesus' "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem...
"And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying "If you had known in this day, (the
specific day = see comment below) even you, the things
which make for peace! (See comment below - when a king entered a city on
a donkey it was for peace! A white horse signified war = see Messiah's
return Rev 19:11f-note)
But now they have been hidden from your eyes. "For the days shall come
upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround
you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you (Jerusalem) to the
ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one
stone upon another (this prophecy fulfilled in 70AD with Roman
destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple), because you did not recognize
the time of your
(Luke 19:41, 42, 43, 44)
Comment: Daniel 9:25,
clearly predicted the visitation of the Messiah to Jerusalem, and there
is good support for the fact that Daniel's prophecy specified the exact
day the Messiah entered Jerusalem on "Psalm Sunday" mounted on a donkey
being welcomed by the cry from the multitudes of "Blessed is the King
Who comes in the name of the Lord", quoting Ps 118:6-note.
In 1894 Sir
Robert Anderson in his monumental
The Coming Prince
- click book, [independently confirmed by the study of
Dallas Theological Seminary professor Dr Harold Hoehner in 1976]
calculated from Da 9:25, 26-note that following the decree to rebuild
Jerusalem in 445BC in Neh 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 until Messiah, the Prince was
177,880 days which coincided with the very day Jesus entered Jerusalem
-- Palm Sunday -- riding on a donkey fulfilling Zechariah's prophecy
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of
Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you. He is just and
endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt,
the foal of a donkey." -- Zech 9:9