This sermon is part of the sermon series "Living Close". See series.
In the days when the judges ruled over the land of Judah there came a famine to the land. So a man from Bethlehem together with his wife and two sons went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man's name was Elimelech. His wife's name was Naomi, and their two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah, but they went to Moab to live there. But Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left alone with her two sons. They both married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other named Ruth. And after they had lived in the land for about ten years, Mahlon and Chilion also died. And so Naomi was left without her two sons and without her husband.
Well, when Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people back in Judah and provided them with food. She and her daughters-in-law prepared to return there. And together they left the place they had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. But on the way Naomi stopped and said to her daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show kindness to you even as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that you find rest, each of you, in the arms of another husband." Then she kissed them and said good-bye, and they all wept aloud. "We will go back with you to your people," they said. But Naomi replied, "Return home, my daughters. Why would you want to come with me? Am I going to have any more sons for you to marry? Return home, my daughters. I am too old to have another husband. And even if I thought there was any hope for me, even if I had a husband tonight and gave birth to sons, would you wait for them to ...
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