Message: Breaking the Status Quo
Preacher: Jessyka Albert
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 35:19-28.
Read: Ruth 1:19-22 - Read the ESV translation, and note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: Like any small town, the second Naomi steps foot near Bethlehem, word gets around. The text tells us that “the whole town stirred because of them.” The women had to ask “Is this Naomi?” You can only imagine how time and the loss of her family has changed and aged her. Naomi is quick to correct then. She no longer wants to be called Naomi, but rather Mara. In Biblical times, names meant much more than they do today. Naomi means sweetness or pleasantness, but Naomi was no longer sweet or pleasant; her circumstance have made her bitter.
Naomi’s anger to God is revealed in verses 20-21. She has reservations in disclosing to anyone in earshot that God has dealt bitterly with her. She once was full with life, happiness, and family, and she has lost it all. She claims that she went away full and come back empty, while Ruth stands right next to her. Ruth has given up everything to go with Naomi, and she gets no credit. Naomi feels she has come back with nothing.
Although she may feel as if everything good was ripped out of her hands while she was in Moab, Naomi will soon see that Ruth will once again fill her soul with sweetness. The Ruth that is a constant reminder of the land that took her husband and sons is the same Ruth that will restore Naomi’s faith in God and be written in to the genealogy of Jesus.
Respond: Pray for loyalty.
Research: What does your name mean?