All In, with Kirk Crossing
From Ruin To Redemption (2) – Ruth 1.6-22
In the next part of the story of Ruth, we find a ray of hope, a remarkable kindness, and a painful reckoning.  The ray of hope is that Yahweh has visited his people and given them food (ended the famine).  This means he has not abandoned his people and that they have, one again, experienced his grace.  God’s plans/purposes are always initiated by him and come about by means of his grace.  This grace is what leads Naomi to return to Judah, bringing her daughters-in-law with her.
Along the way, she has a change of heart and tries to convince her daughters-in-law to return to Moab.  Ultimately, Orpah does return but Ruth does not.  In fact, she pledges herself to Naomi in a very powerful way.  This commitment to Naomi is powerful because it is an example of ‘hesed‘: covenantal love/faithfulness.  This kind of love/faithfulness stands out in a time when people ‘did what was right in their own eyes’ and it also exemplifies Yahweh’s own ‘hesed‘.
Finally, there is a painful reckoning when Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem.  She pours out her grief and pain in a lament, acknowledging that Yahweh has played a role in her difficult circumstances and has brought her to the place in which she finds herself.  This is both an expression of faith (believing in Yahweh and his power) and a painful expression of anger.  The good news is that the story isn’t over yet!
We learn from this story that God’s grace is always at work, we should always return home, that there is great power in faithfulness and commitment, and that faith and struggle often go together.