- Bible Reading: Ruth 1:1-22
- Scripture Reading: Ruth 1:6-22
- Focus Scripture: Ruth 1:20 And she said to them, “You should not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for Shaddai, has caused me to be very bitter.
- Genesis 3:20 LEB And the man named his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all life.
- Genesis 5:1 This is the written account of the descendants of Adam When God created human beings He made them to be like himself.
- Genesis 17:5 LEB Your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.
- Genesis 17:15 LEB And God said to Abraham, “as for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, for Sarah shall be her name.
Names are very important they serve as roadmaps leading families through generations connecting to our history. In scripture, we encounter several chronicles of significant people. We read of God announcing the name a child was to be called, people whose names were changed after coming into closer partnership with God, and in this instance, a name changed out of circumstance and emotion.
The names God gives perfectly convey exactly what the individual’s purpose is and what we can expect to see. Adam or man gives Eve her name because God has condemned them for their sin and they will live in this world always striving to enjoy the close fellowship with God they once had. Abram goes from being a father figure to a father of many nations. Sarai from a princess to a matriarch of kings. And Naomi who was angry at the Lord and changed her name from joy to bitterness. Changed names induced by us often are the result of a temporary emotional state and can change through prayer.
When God changes our name He redefines why we are here and what our legacy will be. Names are important to God as is the genealogy that chronicles the familial history of humankind. While we can all trace ourselves back to Adam and Eve we know that after the fall of man we were divided and scattered throughout the earth. With so many instances of being called to repent and turn to God for forgiveness and to serve Him with gladness, it is not completely surprising that we deal with the same issues of pride, greed, lust, and apostasy.
History gives us education. We learn from the mistakes and successes of our ancestors. God has a plan for each of us, we can willingly take hold of His hand and walk purposefully in His ways, or we can follow the path of fools allowing the enemy to destroy our wisdom in purpose. Obeying God and his commands are not easy and the struggles may seem overwhelming but we are not alone. God is always with us. We can let the ego of our emotions take over and blind us to the help that is all around because pride will not let us humble ourselves.
Ruth clung to Naomi she did not want to leave her mother-in-law. She begged to stay and Naomi continued to push. Naomi had nothing left to offer and would be a burden to Ruth but the love Ruth had for Naomi outweighed her bitterness. Naomi was returning to her home as a widower. Reading their story one would completely understand Naomi’s anger, frustration, loneliness, and grief. (Ruth 1:1-5) She narrowly escaped famine, her husband and both of her sons died and she had to come back home empty all of which was difficult for a single woman. But Yahweh had a different ending in mind and out of their struggle came to a blessing. Ruth displayed the faith and strength Naomi needed to survive even when all seemed hopeless. God will place people in our lives to help us weather our seasons. I love how Naomi saw the determination in Ruth and stopped asking her to go back to her home. Even in her bitterness, Naomi saw the genuine devotion Ruth had for her and for our God.
Who we are in Christ is the only thing that should define our relationship with each other. We are part of His body and as such all work together with one goal in mind, following His command to love (John 13:34-35). We serve a purpose and we are to embrace who we are. While this world wants to continue to separate us based on skin color, economic status, and who we worship, the Word of God tells us that we are each uniquely important. God calls us by name we are the focus of God’s attention.
During this holiday season and every day remember that you are not alone, God will answer your prayer. His Light shines in the dark places and we are able to cling to the hope of eternity through the faith He gives. Humble yourselves and ask God to remove the bitterness, anger, pride, and loneliness from your hearts that he may renew a right spirit within. Keep turning from sin and towards God.
Better known as ….Redeemed.
- What do people think when they hear my name?
- What do I think about myself?
- Am I focused on pushing people away with my bitterness?
- How has God shown me He is still near?