Don't Miss God's Purpose in Your New Season (May, 2023)
By: Charlotte Fawver
Elimilech and his wife, Naomi, sons: Maklon and Chilion left Bethlehem in Judah to go to Moab (Ruth 1:1-3). Bethlehem means House of Bread and Judah means Praised. Moab means Worldly. The people of Israel and Bethlehem were instructed to not have anything to do with the Moabites. The people there worshiped the god, Chemosh; destroyer, subduer, or fish god. So, why in the world would Elimilech uproot from his home and go to this “worldly” place? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but it is believed that he had heard that there was no famine in Moab. Elimilech and his family lived there 10 years; and during that time, he and his two sons died. Now, Naomi has only her two daughters-in-laws, Ruth and Orpah. Orpah returns to her former family in Moab, but Ruth remains with Naomi.
It may have appeared to Elimilech that Moab was better, but things are not always as we see them. We must be obedient to the Lord no matter how it looks or feels. Obviously, the family was in the domain of Chemosh; the Destroyer. Naomi certainly suffered loss. Did this come because of the god of that land? Were they there in disobedience to the Lord? Either way, she didn’t know to blame the evil spirits of the land, but rather blamed Almighty God. She said in Ruth 1:13, “…for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem. Many of those who had previously known Naomi came out to meet her. Evidently, Naomi’s grief had affected her so deeply, that her appearance had changed. The people questioned, “Is this really Naomi?” She responded in verses 20&21, “Call me Mara (bitter or one whose life is grievous to her; bitterness of soul): for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi (pleasant, beautiful, sweetness), seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” “Afflicted” – burdened my spirit. Do we blame God for our afflictions?
We see that Ruth makes her way to the fields of Boaz by Naomi’s instruction. Ruth has favor with him, and he makes sure that she gets extra food. Boaz is the second nearest of kin to Naomi. The closest of kin turns down his opportunity, so Boaz steps up as the redeemer. Boaz and Ruth marry, and Ruth gives birth to a son, Obed; the father of Jesse, who will be the father of King David. …And of course, Jesus the Messiah comes through this lineage.
Naomi and Ruth left the “Worldy” (Moab), the land of the Destroyer, and followed God’s will back to the “House of Bread” and “Praised” (Bethlehem in Judah). This allows for a new season for Naomi and for Ruth. Ruth experiences the joy of seeing God at work in their lives, being married again, and having her own son. Naomi has a new season in her life. Ruth 4:15&16 Amp. says, “May he (Obed) also be to you one who restores life and sustains your old age; for your daughter-in-law (Ruth) who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him. Then Naomi took the child and placed him in her lap, and she became his nurse.” Notice, Naomi has a new purpose. We read in Ephesians 1:4 that even from the foundation of the world, we were set apart for God with a purpose. May we not be bitter in spirit but flowing in our Lord’s purposes for us in our new seasons of life.