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Don't Call Me Naomi

by Filoiann Wiedenhoff  
10/22/2007 / Devotionals

Ruth 1:20-21
"Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "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."

As she entered the city there was already a stir of Naomi's tragic situation and seeing Naomi and Ruth, the women exclaimed in the prior verse, "Can this be Naomi?" not recognizing her by her change of disposition.

Naomi's name means "Pleasant and joyful" and perhaps at one time she wore that name proudly and was well known among the city as that. But upon her return she could not bear to carry her own name, but called herself bitter because that's what she was. She goes on to tell those women that she left full but came back empty and that the Lord has afflicted her and brought her misfortune.

It is understandable how Naomi must have felt at that time. It was hard enough to lose her husband but to lose both her sons was just a devastation and to have no grand children to carry on her family name must have made her feel abandoned by God.

As it was traditionally known in those days, that God's favor was considered not upon you and your household if found being barren and having misfortune and because of this, she grew in resentment and that resentment turned into bitterness.

Little did she know that God was not only going to show mercy and compassion upon her household but bring forth His only begotten son through the line of Boaz, her husband's kinsmen redeemer.

If you have read the story of Ruth you know that this story is one of the most romantic stories in the bible between Ruth and Boaz. If you are unfamiliar with this story, Ruth who is Naomi's daught-in-law is chosen by Naomi's kinsmen redeemer Boaz to be His bride and loves her deeply.

It is a visual symbol of love between Christ and the church; Boaz representing Christ who is our kinsmen redeemer and the church who is the bride of Christ as Ruth who was once barren but now was full and blessed beyond what she could imagine or think.

This story personally gives me comfort and hope, that although God allows His children to go through trials that He never leaves us nor forsakes us and will use whatever we are going through for His Glory.

Undoubtedly, it does hurt at the time and is painful, but we can turn to the God of all comfort who comforts us and come boldly to His throne of grace in our hour and time of need because He loves us and cares for us deeply.

At the end of the story Naomi's family was going to live on through her kinsmen redeemer, and she was no longer barren but made full and from that day forward Naomi was able to live once again as "Pleasant and Joyful".

If you are going through a trial or have experienced a loss, I hope the story of Ruth and Naomi has given you some comfort and hope that although God may feel far away, He is right there with you, you are not alone and you can turn to Him as your comfort. Allow Him to restore you that once again you can experience the joy of your salvation in God's perfect time. May God bless you and encourage you today with His love.

Personal Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the story of Ruth and Naomi that gives us comfort and hope that no matter what we are going through that you are with us and that you understand. Help us to trust you in the midst of our trials and cling to you as our God of all comfort and our kinsmen redeemer. We need you and we love you. In Jesus name Amen.

Filoiann M. Wiedenhoff is a pastor's wife,work at home mom, Womans Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer. View her website for more articles

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