Monday, April 8, 2013

Ruth and Naomi

Naomi a Jewish mother and wife, had found herself in a foreign land having lost her husband and her two married sons. She had two widowed daughter in laws who were Moabites. Naomi told them to go and return to their own people, remarry and to make new lives for themselves. She kissed them and they both wept. Naomi must have shown her love to them and they loved her in retrurn. One daughter, Orphah, meaning "gazelle", kissed Naomi again and departed, but Ruth, meaning "friendship" clave unto Naomi. Naomi means "my delight." Well, she no longer felt blessed. She spoke her concern for them : "for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me." She wanted the best for her daughters in her time of grief.

Rth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Rth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Rth 1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
Rth 1:19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
Rth 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
Rth 1:21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

Naomi like many of us had suffered a great loss. "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath afflicted me. Mara means "bitterness", but although her sweet life in which she was a delight to others had turned upside down, still she had love for Ruth who wanted to follow her and be like her and to have her God. Naomi could have turned bitter towards others in her time of suffering, but instead she showed love and encouragement. Ruth was won over by Naomi's example. Ruth returned to Israel with Naomi and with the wise counsel from Naomi; she would marry Boaz, a kinsman redeemer and have a son who would inherit the land of Naomi's husband and sons. The son born to Ruth and Boaz would be named Obed, meaning "serving". He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. Ruth had become a mother in the lineage of the Messiah.

Through faith in Jesus our redeemer we enter the family of God and are called to be servants, to bring others to the God of Ruth and Naomi. There is a lesson here for all who suffer loss; do not turn bitter towards others around you. Remain faithful and loving and by this your life will serve a great purpose for God's glory. He has not left you, but is preparing you for something greater.

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