Background:

    • Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law.
    • In verses 1-5 you have the setting for the story.
    • These were challenging days for this family.
      • At this time the judges ruled and everyone did whatever they wanted.
      • They were in the middle of a famine. In the Old Testament God often use famine as a way to discipline his people. God will never allow his people to live in sin. He will use anything to get their attention.
    • Moab was a country that was not in a famine. They were not a God fearing people, but this family headed that way.
    • While in Moab, Elimelech and her two children died.
    • Namoi wanted to go back home to Bethlehem. Orpa stayed in Moab, but Ruth went with Naomi.

Ruth 1:19-22 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? 20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

  • The name Naomi meant pleasant or delightful. By looking at Naomi you could tell she had lived a rough life. She then wanted to be called Mara, meaning bitter because the Lord dealt with her.
  • Chapter 1 begins with a bad decision, but ends with a good decision.

VS 22b- and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

How did Naomi go from- being Naomi, delightful and pleasant- to Mara, bitter- and then back to Naomi, delightful? Three thoughts from today’s passage.

First, she made the decision to come back to God.

  • This is where it all starts.
  • The heart of every problem is the problem of the heart.
  • It’s easy to blame everyone else for what’s happened in our lives, but at the end of the day we have to take responsibility for our own decisions.
  • Naomi and her family should have never left Bethlehem and went to Moab in the first place.
  • Boaz stayed put and God blessed him for that. Famines don’t last forever. Naomi left and became a bitter person, while Boaz stayed and became a better person.
  • The best decision you can make is to come back to God.

Secondly, she realized that God in His faithfulness had been there all along.

  • She called God the All Mighty. In the Hebrew it is El-Shadi, meaning Mountain.
  • We are not always faithful to God, but God is always faithful to us.
  • Jeremiah the prophet said it well, “Great is they faithfulness.”
  • The more we hurt, the more we need God.

Psalms 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

  • Don’t forget that God is and always will be there for you.

Thirdly, she embraced God’s plan and purpose for her life.

Ruth 4:13-16 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

  • If Naomi would have never come back to God, Ruth would have never met Boaz. Ruth is in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus in chapter 1:5. Obed was the son of Boaz and Ruth and he was King David’s grandfather. It would be through the royal lineage of David that the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ would come to be the Savior of the world.
  • We are still receiving a blessing today because Naomi made the right decision and came back to God.
  • God makes no mistakes. Naomi is proof of that.
  • Like Naomi, maybe you need to come back to God today. Make the decision today.
  • With God there is forgiveness and restoration.
  • Do you need to come back to God today like Naomi?

Do you know Christ as your Savior?  Do you know for sure you are going to heaven when you die?  You can know for sure you are going to heaven and that your sins are forgiven!

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