Keepers of The Home
The story of Ruth and Naomi is so rich and full of hope. Not only does the Lord enable Naomi through all of her tragedy to become the great, great grandmother to King David, but the story is also a beautiful illustration of God’s redemption to the gentiles. Her story certainly doesn’t begin that hopeful though. Naomi’s family, her husband and her two sons, are forced to move out of their homeland due to a famine in the land. After they arrive in Moab her husband dies and Naomi becomes a widow, left with her two sons who end up marrying Moabite women. Within ten years of losing her husband, she managed to lose both of her sons as well.
What a tragedy! Can you imagine how devastating this would all be? No wonder when she arrived back in her home town of Bethlehem and people greeted her this was her reply—
“'Don’t call me Naomi,’ she told them. 'Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.’” (Ruth 1:20-21, NIV)
Naomi was crushed, so crushed from her tragedy and loss that she no longer even wanted to be called by her birth name which meant pleasantness, but Mara which means bitter. But God was already showing His great grace and provision in her life through her faithful daughter in law Ruth. Ruth who refused to leave her and stay in her homeland Moab continues with her on her journey back home, going to an unknown place all because she loved dearly her mother in law. This is nothing more than Gods abundant favor and provision. I love how the story continues to unfold and show Gods incredible provision over both of these women.
Dear friend, if you are struggling now with deep loss and tragedy, or if your heart faints at the idea of it ever coming your way; take heart in this story! God is faithful never to leave us or forsake us. Troubles are promised to us (John 16:33), but take heart for Gods abundant favor also rests upon us, so that when we face hard times, he makes a way for us to rise again!
We have walked through the hard road with Ruth and Naomi, let us now look towards the end of their story to see the redemption that God provides—
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: ‘Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.’ Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son!’ And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:13-17, NIV)
Oh how faithful God is to take our ashes and make them beautiful! Take heart this day in that your redeemer lives and that He cares intimately for you no matter what comes your way!