Once upon a time - it was back in the days when judges led Israel - there was a famine in the land. A man from Bethlehem in Judah left home to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.
But then the two brothers, Mahlon and Kilion, died. Now the woman was left without either her young men or her husband.
One day she got herself together, she and her two daughters-in-law, to leave the country of Moab and set out for home; she had heard that God had been pleased to visit his people and give them food.
I left here full of life, and God has brought me back with nothing but the clothes on my back. Why would you call me Naomi? God certainly doesn't. The Strong One ruined me."
And so Naomi was back, and Ruth the foreigner with her, back from the country of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)