Naomi was very bitter early in the book of Ruth. I definitely understand that she was upset due to her harsh circumstances. She and Elimeleck moved to Moab due to a famine in Judah. After moving, she lost Elimeleck. Then her two sons, Mahlon and Kilion got married. Ten years later they died. Mara is the name that Naomi requested that people call her because she believed that “the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full but the Lord brought me home empty.” And “Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and sent so much tragedy on me? ” Many times we get angry and bitter at the Lord due to difficult situations in our life. The question I wonder is, “Are you Mara or Naomi?”
Would you choose a name for yourself that means that God has ruined your life, that He has made you bitter?
Moving from Moab
Orpah and Ruth both remained with Naomi for a time. They were still in Moab when they heard that there was food once again in Judah. Naomi suggested that since they no longer had their husbands, that they return to Moab with their family and perhaps remarry. At the beginning, Orpah and Ruth told Naomi that they would both go to Judah with her. Later though, Orpah decided that she would go back to her family. Ruth would not be persuaded. She told Naomi,
“Wherever you go, I will go, where you live, I will live, Your people will be my people, Your God will be my God and wherever you die and be buried, I will also die and be buried. your people will be my people, etc.” So Naomi didn’t say anything more and she and Ruth headed off to Judah.Ruth 1:16-17 http://biblegateway Ruth
Life Improves for Naomi and Ruth
Now, I wrote last week about how Boaz became the Kinsman Redeemer for Naomi and for Ruth. God did an amazing thing by providing for Naomi and Ruth, using Boaz.
Boaz provided for Ruth and Naomi, giving them food and redeeming their family line. Naomi had a grandson, Obed, who was the grandfather of King David and as a result, the family line of Jesus. Naomi at this point, told Ruth to be patient. This was wise counsel at the time while she waited for an answer regarding Boaz buying the land and marrying Ruth. Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer – A Beautiful Picture In The Old Testament
Lessons to Learn
So when Naomi was angry at God, she said that her circumstances were far worse for her than they were for
Orpah and Ruth. We do that too! Here are some things that we do when we are upset that our circumstances are bad and we blame God!
- We compare our “bad” with someone else’s “bad”.
She said that she was bitter and the Lord raised His fist against her!”.
- She exaggerated here, I believe. I don’t see God physically being that angry with her enough to send bad events into her life. But she saw God as “beating her” with all this bad stuff. The Lord will try and get our attention sometimes, but he doesn’t do it all for punishment. (What the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good, like in Josephs case!).
- She questioned God also “Why has the Lord caused me to suffer and sent so much tragedy on me?
The Lord actually provided for Naomi, using Ruth, who stuck with her, then Boaz. So, the Lord is not not some angry God that only sends us bad things, He provides good for us! He is our Redeemer! I understand in a real way, being upset and questioning why God allows bad things to happen. I think we all do! None of us have had perfect lives, free of anything that upsets or hurts us emotionally, physically, financially or any other way. So the question I have today is, are you Mara or Naomi?