Monday, September 9
Nothing To Give?
Read Ruth 1:11-13
But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait til they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me."
This must have been the lowest of lows for Naomi so far . She's moved to a strange place, lost a husband, lost her two sons, now is getting ready to make the journey home to Moab and is telling her daughters in law not to follow her. She has nothing to give them . She has a very saddened heart and a hopeless reality. She speaks of the Levirate marriage as described in Deut. 25: 5-6 and the impossibilities of it for her at her age. Also, from Matthew Henry's commentary, p.374: "She judges herself chiefly aimed at in the affliction, that God's quarrel was principally with her: The hand of the Lord has gone out against me. I am the sinner; it is with me that God has a controversy; it is with me that He is contending ; I take it to myself... She laments most the trouble that rebounded to them from it. She was the sinner, but they were the sufferers: It greiveth me much for your sakes." She wants these girls to be blessed . She wants them to go to their home so they can restart their lives. As Paige Brown said in her Ruth study," this is worldly logic, which is not good. There is no spiritual care for the daughters in law. Naomi doesn't deny God -she recognizes the Lord's power but she hates this power in her life. Her life is wrecked . He has allowed this to happen but her conclusion is that He is not doing good for her." I agree with Paige . Naomi, by encouraging Ruth and Orpah to return to their people and their foreign gods, was not the better option, although worldly logic would say it was. Sadly Naomi's hopelessness shrouds her faith. It is HER FAITH in her God that she has to give to these girls. Its ironic she feels she has nothing to give when the greatest gift she has is at her fingertips.
Have you ever felt like Naomi, hopeless with nothing to give? Sisters, if that is where you are today, Jesus already knows and is prepared at all times to meet you there. Several years ago when I was in a hopeless place, I had a vision of Jesus sitting in a beautiful park on bench just waiting. I was there and confused in my own mess as He just quietly sat . I realized He wasn't going to force his way into my mess, He was just waiting for me to notice Him and take Him up on His silent offer to sit with Him in the peace and love that surrounded Him. No matter where you are in your journey, He is there waiting for You. He offers you the comfort and hope you are needing. Today, let's redirect our gaze on Him for ourselves....and then for someone else. Personally I want to learn from Naomi's story. if I can do nothing else in this world, I want to leave a legacy of faith in Jesus to the ones I love.
For further reading: Psalm 73:5-6; Habakkuk 3:17-19; Hosea 6:1-3
We all have had moments of despair and in someway can relate to Naomi as if she were living in our community today. Oh Lord, we ask that You will indeed meet each of us right where we are . If this is a time of despair , please use it for our good and Your glory. If this is a moment of joy , please let us not forget the One that walked us there. In every season of life, please wrap your arms around us and help us to realize how loved we are by You. Your word says," Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be imposible for you." (Matthew 17:20). Continue to make us teachable through the book of Ruth and let us not miss even one lesson you have for us here. Strengthen our faith in You and let that radiate through us for others to see. Amen.