"Don't call me Naomi, " she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 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)
Yes Naomi did have sufficient reason to be bitter. She had left Bethlehem in Judah with her husband and two sons due to a famine to live in a place called Moab. Unfortunately during this time she had lost her husband and her two sons. I guess you could say she was having her moment of ranting and raving, however her statement was still incorrect.
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. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Ruth 1:16-18 (NIV)
The lord had not let Naomi return to Bethlehem empty. Standing right next to her was Ruth, her daughter in law who had given up her life for her. Ruth had left her own family behind and any hope of every remarrying to come back into a strange land to be with her mother in law. Yet Naomi in her short sightedness was still saying the lord brought her back empty.
That's what happens when we get so engulfed in the challenges we're facing and we forget that Jesus Christ is standing right next to us.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
God never leaves us empty. No matter what trials we face there is always a way of escape. Jesus is our way of escape. He is always planning a step ahead of us.
As Christians we sometimes feel empty. We feel there is no hope.
Like Naomi we have invested our hearts, life, time, efforts, emotions, finances in various ventures over the years and we have nothing to show for it.
But like Naomi we need to take a harder look around us.
Standing right next to you is the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient God. Yes he is always present. Standing faithfully next to you at all times. He is also able to get you out of that predicament that looks larger than life and believe it or not he knows exactly what you're going through.
Not only is Jesus always with you he has given you the Holy Spirit. A comforter by nature cannot and will not leave you comfortless.
Like Ruth did for Naomi he has also given up everything for you. He gave up his life to remain by your side and walk with you even at the lowest points of your life.
Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon.
I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses.
Ruth 4:9-10 (NIV)
You can read for yourself that God did not leave Naomi empty. He supplied a kinsman redeemer- Boaz to marry Ruth. Because he married Ruth he bought from Naomi all the property of her dead husband and sons and was going to carry on her family name.
Not only did God get Naomi out of the rot she was in, he did exceeding and abundantly far above her expectations.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and 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 kinsman-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 laid him in her lap and cared for him.
Ruth 4:13-16 (NIV)
Are you reading what I'm reading? God gave Naomi a daughter in law better than seven sons and also blessed her with grandchildren through Ruth.
The same people saying that God had brought her back empty were now glorifying God in her life.
By the time God is done with you, people will rejoice and praise God for your life. Don't be so short sighted today.
I know it's sometimes difficult to look beyond the present and see a brighter future. No matter what you're going though it'll only last for a season. Remember though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning.
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 4:17 (NIV)
Naomi in her short sightedness thought that God had left her empty when she lost her husband and two sons. Yet God had greater plans for her. He not only blessed her and carried on her family name but also through her lineage came Jesus Christ- the saviour and light of the world.
Naomi could not see the light through the tunnel. In this case there literally was a light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus Christ was that light. Praise God.
Remember whatever you're going through, there is always, always light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus Christ is that light. Don't be so short sighted today. Let the Holy Spirit enhance your vision and lead you towards that light.