Friday, May 11, 2012

Returning Home

The Book of Ruth, A Love Story
Returning Home in Bitterness
Ruth 1:19-22
So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?  And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Review ~ The Moabites were idol worshippers and were steeped in polytheism (the worship of more than one god). Elemelich, a believer in JEHOVAH GOD, afraid that he and his family would starve to death in the land of Judah, took his family away from “The House of Bread” to the land of Moab, a cursed nation. Death takes hold of Naomi and her daughter’s-in-law––their husbands are gone and now they are all alone. A rumor is heard in the land of Moab, the famine is over in Bethlehem and soon Naomi longs to go back home. Ruth must have been influenced greatly by Naomi’s life and by her God for Ruth, a Moabite by birth, leaves her pagan gods for Naomi’s God, the One True and Living God, JEHOVAH, YAHWEH–The Self-Existent One. Ruth abandons all to journey with Naomi to her homeland.
As Naomi enters the city of Bethlehem, with Ruth by her side, the people of the city begin to move about asking, “Is this Naomi?” Ten years had gone by since Naomi lived there and they didn’t know the overwhelming effect that bitterness had produced in her. To those standing near she bitterly replied, “Don’t call me Naomi, which means, “pleasant,” but call me Mara, meaning, “bitter,” for the LORD has brought me home to Bethlehem absolutely empty, burdened and afflicted.
Satan wanted Naomi to focus on the negative, those areas of weakness where unforgiveness, anger, feelings of bitterness lived and would breed discouragement. She couldn’t think clearly when she focused on the lies of Satan. His lies divided her mind and caused her to shift the blame to God and of course, to others. Naomi’s bitterness was an attitude of deep discontentment that poisoned her soul and destroyed her peace. A bitter, sour Christian is one of Satan's greatest trophies and why the Bible says, "See to it…that no bitter root springing up trouble you, and there by many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15). If we continue to live in bitterness, this harmful condition will eventually pass on to others causing us to suffer immense negative effects. 
Thought: How do you deal with bitterness? Confess it to God, and seek His forgiveness and help. On the cross, Christ took upon Himself every sin you ever committed—including your bitterness. No matter its cause, commit your bitterness to God, and ask Him to replace it with the Holy Spirit's fruit of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).  Bitterness is the exact opposite of every one of these and it will flee when the Spirit’s fruit fills your heart and mind.

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