I have always loved the book of Ruth. I have considered it a book about love, and it is. However, as I was reading it a few weeks ago, God showed me this book is also a book about restoration. This blog will focus on God changing Namoi's life from one of bitterness to one restored.
In the beginning of the book we discover that because of a famine, Namoi's husband takes her and their two sons to another land. After arriving there, her husband dies. Her two sons marry and they live for 10 years. Then, they die. This leaves Namoi, and her two daughters-in-law alone. Namoi decides to return home. As they are traveling, Namoi tries to convince the younger women to return to their families. Orpah does return, but Ruth refuses to turn back.
In chapter 1 verse 13, Namoi says "God has dealt me a hard blow." When life gets hard, we made poor decisions, or someone else makes a poor decision that effects us, we often look for someone to blame. Naomi blamed God. She believed that God had forsaken her. As we read, we can see that God had a plan for both Naomi and Ruth.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, other women recognized Naomi, and asked about her. Namoi was quick to tell them that now she was Mara. Mara means bitter. We no longer change our names to match what we are feeling, but the way we behave does change. The name Namoi means beautiful, pleasant, delightful. She was no longer feeling these things... she was BITTER!
Ruth decided to go into the fields to glean among the sheaves. As a foreigner, she knew that she was at the mercy of the land owner. Chapter 2 verse 3 says that "eventually she ended up in the part of the field owned by Boaz..." God had led her to this field. God also caused Boaz to notice Ruth, and to favor her. God uses people to bless and favor you. He also uses you to bless and favor others.
When Ruth returned at the end of the day to Namoi, and told her all that had happened, Naomi recognized that God had indeed not left them. It was at this point that she realized that God was with them in the hard times and in the good. She could have overlooked this, but instead she chose to recognize it as God's hand.
As we know, Boaz marries Ruth, and they have a son. This son is presented to Naomi, and her restoration is complete. She went from being a bitter widow in a foreign land, to the great, great grandmother of David. The woman who believed God had dealt her a hard blow, had instead received great blessing.
There is an old saying that time heals all wounds... this does not apply to bitterness. If you allow bitterness in, it will grow, fester, and consume your life. Guard your heart to not allow discouragement and anger to become bitterness. If bitterness has already set in, you must make a choice to recognize when God is working... Look for His blessings in your life... Thank Him for all that He is doing... and Receive Restoration.