1Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
7Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
8And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
13Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
14And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
15And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
16And Ruth said, Intreat 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:
17Where 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.
18When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
19So 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?
20And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
21I went out full and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
22So 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.
Today’s story opens with a lady named Naomi, whose husband and two sons passed away. Naomi was living the greatest pain she had ever known. She was grieving beyond words. She decided to leave the city that her family had called home, to return to the place where she grew up. She planned to leave her two daughters-in-law behind so that they could remarry and hopefully live happy lives. One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, refused to leave Naomi. She was so committed to Naomi and to serving God with her that she sacrificed opportunities to pursue her own happiness. As you read today’s story for yourself, ask yourself whether you know anyone who needs community like Naomi did. Spend some time praying for them. How is God leading you to serve them?