Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Author Unknown
Naomi has lost both her husband and her sons. Her husband’s spiritual state could have been the catalyst for his passing, but no specific reason is given. However for her sons, it seems that this truth may be closer to hitting the mark, due to the names given both boys.
Can you imagine calling your children…” Hey Sick! Hey Pining! Go help your father.” It’s like their parents sentenced them to a life of ill health that finally overcame them. People don’t realize that we all speak things into existence.
8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
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:
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.
18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
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?
At this juncture, Naomi is looking at her loss and is bitter. Bitterness is the offspring of resentment. It is an indignant, begrudging attitude, mixed with acrimony. In other words, it leaves an acidic, bitter taste in one’s mouth. Holding on to such an attitude for an extended amount of time can cause disease to set in, in the body. I believe that certain cancers result from this.
Did Naomi have reason to be resentful? Yes, she did, if you only view her losses through the eyes of unmet expectations. Such expectations are the result of an attitude of entitlement in which a person believes that no matter what they do or fail to do; regardless of their level of irresponsibility, everything will work out the way they think it is supposed to. I mean who made all those choices anyways?
This sort of attitude is the offspring of very limited utilization of the brain. It results from a spiritual deficit, which was the problem that caused her and her husband to leave in the first place. But she’s still missing the point.
The point is that no matter where you are in your journey; even if you’ve hit some bumps in the road; regardless of how low you think your situation is; and even if your heart is far from God, He can still bless you and turn the situation around.
Success is not measured by what a person accomplishes, but by the opposition they have encountered, and the courage with which they have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. Orison Swett Marden
Naomi did not even call out to God. The passage does not indicate that a lot of prayer was happening. Yet, there was enough of the Spirit in her, that caused her daughter-in-law Ruth to want to become part of her people and her God. And still she did not see that she had been blessed.
Instead, she continued to focus on her loss and her bitterness, as opposed to the new “friendship,” God blessed her with, which is the meaning of Ruth’s name.
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
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?
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
What gets me is who she blames for her bitterness. Why is it that people always want to lob grenades at God for the things that don’t go their way in life? She does this twice; in verse 13, she says that God’s hand has gone out against her, and then here again in v 20-21.
As I said previously, when we all are in possession of a billion dollar asset, our brains, but we fail to add value to it through education; and furthermore, just fail to use it at all, we have no one to blame, but ourselves. God calls us to renew our minds, but many ignore that call, and take no steps to draw closer to Him.
Life does not just happen to anyone. It is the culmination of either unthought out or well thought out decisions.
Life is challenging. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.
Be careful how you:
•Speak to yourself
•Think of yourself
So while Naomi was busy having her pity party, she completely missed the jewel God had given her. Then, she bad mouths God, and blames him for her misfortune; instead of examining herself and recognizing the part that her decisions played in the whole situation.
Nevertheless, God is a loving God, and she’s a lost child that has come home, so He restores her through Ruth, the blessing she overlooked. But, that story is in the later 3 chapters for another day.
The point is, no matter how destitute you think you are, God can restore you. In this case, this bitter, resentful, woman lost the dead weight in her life and gained a new perspective and life through the faith of a woman who’s origins were even worse than her own.
This other woman, Ruth, who by the standards of the society of that time, would be considered unworthy; became, through faith, the great grandmother to one of the most revered kings of history: King David. Why? Because her attitude and perspective had been changed through new information and the renewing of her mind.
This “pleasant” woman in a parched spiritual place still managed, despite her bitterness, to demonstrate enough of God’s Spirit to influence a change in the heart of an outsider, and just look at the blessings that resulted. Attitude is everything.