Monday, June 19, 2017

The Bitterness of Naomi

The Bitterness of Naomi: The Charm of Home
Wither Thou Goest by Sandy Freckleton Gagon

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara,[a] for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer[b] and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”
Ruth 1:20-21

Let us go back and reexamine the book of Ruth this week for a lesson that is needed in a lot of lives. Let's just start at the beginning of the book and look at the story from the perspective of Naomi.

In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there.
Ruth 1:1-2

Why would a Jew pick up his family and move to a pagan country?
Elimelech decided to emigrate to a land where the food was more plentiful during a time of great famine. 

Do you think this was a good idea for a follower of God?

It wasn't and this is why.
God wants you to come to Him. It is really simple, but everywhere I look no one is doing it.
Elimelech took it upon himself to go to Moab. He turned from God to make this decision. 
God wants you to repent from your sins and pray for the removal of the famine.

Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.

Psalm 34:9
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Psalm 34:10
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17

God doesn't want you reading the latest book on how to pray, live, or talk to Him! Our God is a jealous God. He wants you to come to Him and only Him!
It isn't like the sin of jealousy, where you want something someone else has, it is His jealously that we give away a right that by the commandment of God belongs to Him alone, our worship.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Exodus 20:4-6

Elimelech stepped out of the will of God. So what happened to him? He died. Ironically Elimelech's name means "My God is King." There is the story hidden right there in his name.
Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.
Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. 
Ruth 1:3-6

Naomi believed that God blessed the people of Judah. In her heart she knew that God was good and that you should trust in Him.

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.
19 So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara,[a] for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer[b] and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”
Ruth 1:6-7, 19-21

Naomi experienced bitterness because she turned from God. (Even if it was because she obeyed Elimelech). When you turn from God or sin it separates you from God. The one place you don't want to ever be is separated from God because then the enemy can have his way with you and then you most assuredly will taste bitterness.

22 So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Ruth 1:22
When Naomi returned to God he restored all that she had lost.
13 So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. 14 Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. 15 May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!”
16 Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. 17 The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.
Ruth 4:13-17

When we turn back to God and repent of our sins and worship him (pray to Him, talk to Him, have a relationship with HIM) he restores all that we have lost and then some.

Lessons from Naomi:
God doesn't want us to turn to anyone else.
God loves us so much he wants to be the only one we turn to.
The Lord is king!
    Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
    Let the whole earth quake!
The Lord sits in majesty in Jerusalem,
    exalted above all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Your name is holy!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
    you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice
    and righteousness throughout Israel.
Exalt the Lord our God!
    Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
    Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the Lord for help,
    and he answered them.
He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud,
    and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them.
Lord our God, you answered them.
    You were a forgiving God to them,
    but you punished them when they went wrong.
Exalt the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
    for the Lord our God is holy!
Psalm 99

Resource:

All glory and honor to my Lord Jesus Christ,
Sherry

I will be linking up with these parties:
Mommy Moments at Life of Faith- Sun evening
The Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims
Moments of Hope at Lori Schumaker
Monday's Musings at What Joy is Mine
Tuesday Talk with Sarah E. Frazer
Coffee and Conversation at Pat and Candy.com- Tues eve
Tell Us His Story at Jennifer Dukes Lee- Tues eve
Grace Moments at Journeys in Grace
Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3-D Lessons for Life
Grace and Truth at Above the Waves
Fresh Market Friday Crystal Twaddell
Faith and Friends at Counting My Blessings
The Homemaking Party at Classical Homemaking

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