Studies in the Book of Ruth #3 (1:19-22)
Naomi and Ruth RETURN to Bethlehem. So much has transpired since Naomi left Bethlehem. She left with a husband and two sons. She returned with no husband, no sons, and one daughter-in-law.
I. BITTERNESS (v. 19-20)
Naomi is UNRECOGNIZABLE! The years had not been kind to Naomi
Application: Sin affects a person both physically and spiritually.
Naomi means “pleasant” – but she now wants to be called “Mara” which means “bitter”
For more on Mara (or Marah), see Exodus 15:23 and Numbers 33:8, 9
BEWARE of the “root of bitterness” (cf. Hebrews 12:15)
II. EMPTINESS (v. 21)
Naomi tells of how things were when she left (full) and how things are now (empty). This is a woman who now sees the blessing of living in the land of Canaan, but she learned by experience. It is always better to believe what God says than to learn from experience. She speaks of her experience in stating how the LORD is against her and has afflicted her. Experience is a HARD teacher!
III. FULLNESS (v. 22)
Naomi has RETURNED to the place of blessing. While she did not know what was ahead, things were about to be MUCH BETTER for her! What a great reminder of the GOODNESS of God. There are times when we “make a mess of things” but the Lord is able to clean up the mess!
Naomi – a Jewish woman going back to Israel after being OUT of the land and enduring GREAT HARDSHIP
*Naomi is a PICTURE of the nation of Israel returning to the land of PROMISE after enduring the Great Tribulation.
Ruth – a Gentile woman going to Israel for the first time… and it is there that she finds a Jewish husband
*Ruth is a PICTURE of the Church of Jesus Christ… getting to know the Jewish Kinsman Redeemer (the Lord Jesus Christ)