I found my today's reading in scripture very fitting after my previous post. The bulk of my day today was spent in the first chapter of Ruth. And of all of the twenty-two verses, it was the seventh one that captured my attention the most and held it. I will refrain from attempting to write all of where it took me, but I did want to at least stop there a few minutes to share with you some of where I've been.
Naomi, in this verse, is headed back to the land she had earlier left (Bethlehem) after going to a land that an Israelite was told never to go to (Moab). She's finally headed home, but not after heartache and carrying a burden of bitterness. Verse 7 says of her, "... she [Naomi] left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah."
I love that...Judah.... because of what it represents because of its Hebrew meaning: praise. Naomi (as have I) left the place where she had been living and set out (even while still embittered) on the road that would take her back to the land of "praise."
The KJV words it, "Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was...; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah."
She went out of the place where she was! I have too! What "place" are you?
Naomi was leaving a place that she was never intended by God to go. I've been there. To that unintended-warned-against place. And I went there for the same reasons that Naomi did, because there was a "famine" / a hunger / a lack / a wanting / an unsatisfied-satiation in my soul.
I looked up the meaning for "where she had been living" and found it to be the Hebrew word maqowm. A word meaing place, just like it said. Place, locality, spot, room, distance, direction, withersoever. Looking up those words help me to see and to understand it even better. I am thrilled to now have left the place, the spot, the room, the distance, the direction that I was in to go back to my land of living in the house of Bread (Bethlehem) to that land of praise.
I especially like the visual of my withersoever! Ugh! I've been in a withersoever. Been miserable in my withersoever. Wallowed in my withersoever. Almost withered in my withersoever. And wondered how (and why!) I ever ended up in a withersoever in the first place? What was its attraction that lured me? Why did I fall for it? What was its power that drew me to it and stayed me there once I arrived at a withersoever far from my home and far from the place that I ought to be? A withersoever is NOT where I belonged, nor where my Savior willed me to be.
How good it feels to have gotten back on the road, the way, the path, the journey, the direction, the manner, the habit, the course that took me back to the land of my praise! Psalm 107 sings my heart now." Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this....."... I've been redeemed, and so I now "say"... and now thankfully live to continue my "say"ing......