Day 2: When You Can’t See God’s Faithfulness

Read: Ruth 1:6-14

Reflect: With Elimelech dead, the story shifts to the newly widowed Naomi. You can only imagine the emotions she is feeling at having lost her husband and both of her sons. Especially in a patriarchical society, for a woman to lose her husband and sons was to lose everything. She is empty, alone, poor and hopeless. She has nothing and has no one. 

Yeah, her daughters-in-law are there, but she tells them to go back home. She wanted to be alone in her sorrow and grief and bitterness. If God was against her, she figures that the best she could do for Orpah and Ruth would be to get rid of them. 

Unfortunately for Naomi, she could not see the first hints of God’s faithfulness. The passage opens with word getting to Naomi that there was food is Israel. But even more importantly are the words “the Lord had visited his people” (vs 6). She missed the spiritual implication completely. In her bitterness and grief, she missed it. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when the children first hear the phrase, “Aslan is on the move”, the story tells us that the children were filled with courage and warmth and excitement, even if also a little fear and trepidation. They didn’t yet know Aslan, but they understood that something big was happening. 

Instead of experiencing spiritual renewal at hearing that God was on the move and had visited Israel, she tried to get rid of her daughters-in-law so that she could wallow in her grief alone. She threw herself a pity party and in the process, she missed the first hints of the faithfulness of God. The good news: there is more of his faithfulness yet to come, both for Naomi and for us.

Respond:

  • Where in your life today are you experiencing emptiness or bitterness like Naomi? 
  • When is a time in your life that you pushed away those closest to you so that you could wallow in your pity and sorrow? 
  • Looking back on your life, where can you see God at work now that you missed it in the moment the way Naomi did? 
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