Life is Bitter
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 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.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
During a famine in the land of Moab, Naomi’s husband died and so did her two sons. All she had were here two daughter-in-laws. Naomi was very bitter and even changed her name to Mara because the Almighty made her life very bitter. When everything goes against you, you can shake your fist at God and blame Him for all of your misfortune like Naomi or we can look at Ruth’s example. She lost her husband and also had nothing else. Naomi insisted that she go back to her mother’s home, possibly in a different land. She could be re-connected with old friends and any other relatives back home, but instead she wanted to go with Naomi to a land would be foreign to her.
Perhaps it was just Ruth’s character as she saw Naomi’s distress and bitterness and wanted to accompany her mother-in-law to give her hope. God did work miracles and Ruth’s relationship with Boaz must have given Naomi a new hope and joy that God is working in her life. Ruth didn’t want to give up on Naomi and this helps reassure us that God also has that kind of heart. He will not forsake us nor will he abandon us. Ruth was faithful to Naomi’s God and is a great example of how we should be faithful to God just as he is faithful to us.