“Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.” (Ruth 1:6-7)
How important it is to consider if the road we are traveling will lead to the correct destination!
After spending more than a decade in Moab, during which time she had lost both her husband and two sons, Naomi was told that the famine was over in her homeland. The reason for traveling to Moab in the first place, the famine, was no longer a concern. Considering herself to have been dealt with bitterly by the Lord, she decided to return home.
How often we have a destination in mind, yet don’t check to make sure the road upon which we are traveling will get us there. Naomi journeyed upon the road that would surely lead her (and Ruth) back to Judah.
Is the road you are traveling leading you to where you know you ought to, and where you want to, end up?
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
A certain road may seem like a good road to travel, but what is its end? Will it lead you closer to Jesus? Will it lead you to being made more like Him? Will it lead you to fulfilling the good works which He planned long ago for you to walk in? What road are you traveling?
Many years ago as I made a long journey by myself, one hand clutching the directions, the other hand clutching the steering wheel (this was before GPS!), I couldn’t help but notice how focused I was as I looked for the exit I was to take. I did not get swayed by seeing all the other cars take different exits; I did not care what drivers thought about me for not taking the same exit they took; I didn’t care if cars went faster than I did, or for that matter, slower. Why? Because I knew my destination. And I knew the road I needed to take in order to get there.
Oftentimes, we know (at least generally speaking, through the revelation of the Word of God & the Holy Spirit) the road the Lord has called us to walk. We have an idea, at least to the extent of the light He has thus far revealed, to what He has called us to. Yet we get distracted. We become easily swayed. We see the roads others are taking and wonder if maybe that is the road we, too, should take. We see the speed of other cars passing us and think maybe we just need to follow them. We fail to realize they are just heading toward a different destination. It may be a fine destination, a productive destination, and even a godly destination. But if it is not the destination to which He has called you, it is not the road for YOU to take.
Let’s be sure we are traveling on the road that “leads back to Judah.” Judah was named after one of the twelve sons of Jacob and in Hebrew, the word “Judah” means “thanksgiving” or “praise.” I can’t help but recognize that more often than not, the first step OFF the “road that leads to Judah” is when instead of giving thanks, I’m grumbling. Instead of praising, I’m complaining. Instead of looking to Him, worshiping Him, and serving Him, I look around or focus on myself: I’m no longer on the road. If that’s you today, take the first step back onto the road: begin with praise and thanksgiving. Lift your eyes to your Heavenly Father, your Savior, your Good Shepherd. Reaffirm that your life is His and your heart is as well. Trust Him to lead you. There is no God like our God and no Guide like our Guide.
As we consider our path and take inventory of it, may we ask ourselves: is it leading to Jesus? Is it leading to what He has called us to? May we make David’s prayer our own: “Lead me in the right path, O Lord…make your way plain for me to follow.” (Psalm 5:8) He is faithful, and He will do it.