The name Naomi means “pleasant.” Yet the life of Naomi in the first chapter of Ruth seems anything but pleasant. Naomi herself is brought to wonder, “Is this who I even am any more?” Yet Naomi’s story is that of the sweet bitterness of God’s affliction, of the pleasant paths of pain that God sends. Because God is always working better-than-we-can-imagine good — not just in spite of, but often through — our greatest sorrows and losses.
1) Is this Naomi? (v.19):
Point to ponder: When we pass through deep affliction, we sometimes wonder “Will I ever be happy again?”.
Question to consider: Are your emotions lying to you right now, whispering discouragement rather than feeding your faith?
2) Don’t call me Naomi (vv.20-21):
Point to ponder: The contrasts Naomi invokes are accurate: pleasant vs. bitter, full vs. empty — this is the difference between a life with God and a life without God.
Question to consider: Will you faithfully continue trudging forward in faith, even when circumstances seem against you?
3) So Naomi returned (vv.1:22- 2:1):
Point to ponder: When the Lord empties us of everything else, it is so that He can fill us with Himself.
Question to consider: Will you run to God, through faith in Jesus, to be filled today?