Saturday, December 20, 2008


"...and the women said, 'Is this Naomi?' And she said to them, 'Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me." Ruth 1:19b-20

Naomi's name meant "pleasant." Mara meant "bitter." Naomi had ventured into Moab with her husband, Elimelech because of a famine. Both her husband and two sons died there. She returned to Israel with only one daughter-in-law, Ruth. The other stayed behind with her gods. Both of Naomi's sons married Moabite women, and it appears from the passage that they did not worship Yahweh.

What was the cause of Naomi's bitterness? Was it her fault that she found herself in that situation, having lost everything? Was it Elimelech's fault? Her sons'? The passage doesn't say. Yet, she knew that God had dealt bitterly with her. Or did He really? Was that simply her perception? God turned the situation into a part of Jesus' genealogy. Ruth married Boaz and was David's great grandmother.

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