- Naomi: Ruth 1-4
The story of Naomi tells of a woman who was broken and bitter. She had married young and her husband Elimelech had a huge estate and they had two lovely sons. She had everything she needed. But what happened? Famine struck the land of Bethlehem, Judah, where they lived and they had to move away to the land of Moab to try and survive. Whilst in Moab, she lost both her husband and two sons. She was not a young woman anymore and now she was alone in a strange land with no husband or sons to look after her. All she had were her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Whatever was she going to do now? In those days being a widow and no sons to look after you was hard.
She decided that the time had come for her to return to her homeland. She asked her daughters-in-law to return to their homes as she made her way back home. Orpah went back, but Ruth refused to do so and went along with her to Bethlehem, Judah. When she got there, things were not the same as when she had left years before. Yes, the famine was over, but what had happened to her husband’s estate? It was left in ruins. She had nothing left except the old house, which was also battered down and was not fit to live in. When everyone around was welcoming her back home she stood up and said to them,
“Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.” Ruth 1:20.
Why did she say that? Naomi means joy and Mara means bitter, so why did she not want them to call her Naomi anymore but Mara from now on? Isn’t it great to be called a name that means joy? But she had lost all her joy and she was now a bitter woman which is why she did not want to be called joy anymore.
Many of us today have grown bitter. Maybe you started out as a beautiful, happy, young woman, full of life and joy but now you have grown into a bitter one. What has happened that has made you bitter beloved? What do you do now when your heart is filled with so much bitterness that you can’t even eat or sleep properly? Do you just give up and die or do you find a way to turn your situation around? Naomi could have just given up also. But she kept pressing on in her faith towards God. She kept doing the same things she had done for years; she kept praying that God would change her situation.
She did not know that God had great plans for her life. She thought that she was now too old to do anything but God showed her that she was never too old for Him to use. He gave her daughter -in-law, Ruth another husband from the line of Elimelech, and guess what happened. She bore Obed, who became the father of Jesse, and who became the father of none other than the great king David! Now, do you think that Naomi had any idea what God had in store for her? No she didn’t. All she did was trust in Him and let Him guide her footsteps. She did not know that God had place Ruth in her family so that she would be an ancestor of Jesus Christ Himself. Naomi’s legacy followed her long after she was dead. Still today, her name is mentioned in every Christian churches around the globe.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you think that you are too old to do anything for God? If you answer yes, then you need to think again. If you answer no, then you are on the right path towards fulfilling your purpose in life. You are never too old for God to use you. No matter how old your age may say you are, you will always be as young as you think you are. God will always use you if you are open to Him. You can still pray, you can still worship him in Spirit and in truth and you can still counsel the younger women in the house of God. Nothing can stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Age cannot stop you, so stop thinking that you are too old for God.
Read the story of Naomi in Ruth 1-4 and see what God can do in your life if you only let Him.