When you're thrown in the lions' den
All of us will encounter problems, right? That is part of life. However, it is extremely disheartening when you lose multiple loved ones simultaneously.
Such is the case with Naomi in the Book of Ruth. Due to a famine, this woman left Bethlehem (in Judah) with her husband, Elimelek, and her two sons, Mahlon and Kilion.
But guess where they migrated to? Moab, enemy’s territory, people who did not worship Yahweh. Remember, the Moabites were descendants of Lot whose oldest daughter had an incestuous relationship with him (Genesis 19:37).
While dwelling there, Ruth’s husband died, leaving her with sons who were married to Moabite women (Orpah and Ruth).
Then when they resided in Moab for ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion died (Ruth 1).
She obviously felt completely hopeless. They had traveled to Moab due to a famine in their hometown, but encountered famine on deeper level in a foreign land.
How do you handle that kind of burden? How do you cope with the loss of your family?
In verse 6, the Bible says, “Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them.” Thus, she decided to return back to the land of Judah.
Her daughters-in-law volunteered to go back with her. But, Naomi said no because she did not have sons for them to marry. She also told them that the Lord was against her (verse 14).
Orpah chose to return back to her mother’s house, but Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Naomi saw that Ruth was serious, so she welcomed her on the journey back to Bethlehem during the time of barley was being harvested.
The people in Bethlehem rejoiced when they saw Naomi, but she answered, “Don’t call me Naomi… 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” (verse 20-21).
Have you ever felt like God filled you up only to empty you of your blessings? Fortunately, Naomi had Ruth by her side to comfort her.
Although you are facing difficult times, thank God for the “Ruths” in your life, those committed people, who never give up on you.
Find out what happened next.
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