Ruth is one of the best examples of God's Love and Faithfulness who ever lived. 9-12-10 Born a Moabite, in sin and depravity, She chose to become a daughter of God Almighty.
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. These are famous words , often spoken too lightly .
Brides say to their grooms: "Whither thou goest I will go." But they are just words in a ceremony. Connie followed me to Taiwan to live for 2 years. But I had a friend whose wife went home to Mama, because it was too hot in Pensacola, Florida.
18 When she (Naomi) saw that she (Ruth) was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. Steadfastly Minded 1 Cor 15:58
2 Timothy 4 5-7 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: If we would be able to speak these words with the Apostle Paul , we must be: Steadfastly Minded .
19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? We don't know how much time has passed, but the story seems to indicate that Elimelech died soon after reaching Moab, and the sons died ten years later. Maybe 12-15 years have passed. Apparently Naomi had changed a lot.
Time and lifestyle change some more than others.
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. Naomi means sweetness or pleasantness. Mara means bitter. She knew God as Almighty ; she recognized His Power to rule over our lives . All that had happened to her came from Him.
21 I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: She left with a husband and two sons. Full ! In her mind , she came home with nothing. Her daughter-in-law didn't count . When people suffer loss , and think they have nothing left to live for , They have been living for the wrong things .
21b why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? Lord -- Jehovah -- self-existent and eternal God. Almighty -- Shadday -- Almighty She saw the Hand of God, but she failed to see His Purpose: To bring His people back .
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. Returned -- to the place of God's Blessing, In the time of God's Blessing.
Naomi was like we all often are: Focused on her losses , while not recognizing her blessings . The cup of affliction is a "bitter" cup, but she owns that the affliction came from God. It well becomes us to have our hearts humbled under humbling providences. It is not affliction itself, but affliction rightly borne, that does us good . Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.
Naomi had returned unto God and to His Place of Blessing. She had a daughter-in-law who loved her and was loyal to her. Difficult times are good times to count our blessings and encourage ourselves.