Today’s Reading: Ruth
Here comes one of the bible love stories that I enjoy very much. However, I see Naomi more clearly today. In the days men are to look after women and children, she lost her husband and both of her sons in a foreign land. It appears that her husband, Elimelech, made a decision to live in the country of Moab temporarily – “for a while”, but it became 10 years. So when the famine was gone, he appear to make a choice not to go back to his home town. His decision to stay ultimately made Naomi stranded in the foreign land without any provision.
She then decided for herself to move back because she heard in Moab that “the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them”. But Naomi’s bitterness against God comes out when she asks her daughter-in-law to go back to their mothers – “It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone out against me”. She cries out her questions – “Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons? Would you remain unmarried?” She even changes her name to “Mara” because “the Almighty has made my life very bitter”.
When she realized the favour Ruth found in Boaz, she says “The Lord bless him…. He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.”; she quickly realized that God did not abandon her at the end. Then, when Ruth has a son for Boaz, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in our old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” All her bitter questions were answered – Naomi had a boy baby that she cared for and eventually looked after her in her old age. Ruth has a husband who loved her, provided for her and had a son with her.
In our own perspective, we cannot foresee what is coming next corner in our life journey; in fact, we cannot even see our current situations properly. We are blinds, touching different part of an elephant and trying to figure out what we touch. Naomi made her own determination of her fate/life based on her own understanding, but she could only see her limited perspective – a widow without sons without any provision. God already provided her inheritance in Bethlehem, including a new “son” for her daughter-in-law to get married and a grand-son. Naomi is a great-grandmother of King David. Did she see this future when she left the country of Moab as a bitter woman?
Where are you in your life? Do you make your own decision about your life without having God to determine your path for you? Are you sad or bitter about your current situation, like Naomi?
Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, but acknowledge God in all things and your path will be straight (Prov. 3:6) It is 4 steps exercise: (1) trust the Lord with all your heart; (2) do not lean on your own understanding; (3) acknowledge God in all things and (4) your path will be straight. Let’s not just “know” this verse, but let’s live it in our life today.