by John O’Malley
“So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab” (Ruth 1:22).
The letter from the post office arrived. On its envelope was marked, “Return to Sender–Undeliverable as Addressed.” A long time had passed since its sender had posted it. In fact, the envelope resembled one sent years ago by the sender. Though it has picked up a few markings along the way, it has made its way back home. The postal service had not found a place to deliver the piece, so they just sent it back with one phrase: “Return to Sender–Undeliverable as Addressed.” It was the postal service’s way of indicating: “This piece does not belong here, so we are sending it back from whence it came.”
This simple illustration helps us understand Ruth 1:22. More than ten years before, Elimelech “sent” his family to Moab. Now after these many years, the Holy Spirit of God stamped Naomi’s life with a message: “Return to Sender–Undeliverable as Addressed.” There was no place for Naomi in Moab. She and her kin belonged in Bethlehem-judah. God canceled the self-delivery attempts of Elimelech and Naomi in Moab and put Naomi on the mail route of forgiveness, that made deliveries to Bethlehem-judah.
As the letter returned, Naomi had the markings of her journey.These markings she bore on her brow and in her heart. Yet on her return, we can identify the marks of God’s grace .She had been “Returned to Sender,” not placed in the dead mail pile. She had been received by the home folks, not rejected. The company she had brought with her from Moab had comforted her loneliness and rejection on this journey home. Yes, God had been so good to her. Naomi’s trip home began when she came to herself and wanted to get back to Bethlehem-judah.
You may have tried to deliver yourself to a place down in Moab. This is not where you belong. The day you come to yourself, God will place you on the mail route of forgiveness and send you home.
Weary travelers come home! There is no place for you in Moab!
Think about it...