Summary: 8 steps to help you become a bitter woman
I want to begin today with a story. It is the story of a businessman in Chicago whose name was H. G. Spafford. He was a dedicated Christian who, like us all, at times made earthly and unspiritual decisions. He had some serious financial reversals and he lost his home. He realized his family needed to get away for a vacation. Spafford decided to take his family to England. He sent his wife and four daughters ahead. In mid-ocean the French steamer carrying his loved ones collided with another and sank within 12 minutes; costing the lives of 230 people. The 4 daughters drowned, but his wife was rescued. She wired her husband, “Saved alone.”
Spafford was overcome by grief. He had lost his property, his 4 daughters, and his grief stricken wife was alone on the other side of the world. He took the next steamer to England to be with her.
His story parallels the story in scripture that we look at today.
It is the story of Naomi found in the Book of Ruth.
Naomi was a pleasant woman. In fact that was the meaning of her name. She was well loved, a woman that other women admired. She was well known in her community, recognizable by her cheerful attitude.
But a famine came upon the land. Her husband feeling the responsibility for his family’s welfare decided to uproot them and move to a more prosperous place instead of depending on God to see them through. So Naomi said her goodbyes to her friends and along with her 2 sons followed her husband into Moab.
His choice of location was not soundly made. Moab was a land settled by the descendants of Lot. Although relatives of Abraham, they were not part of the “promised people” of God, the Israelites. Moab was to be placed under a curse for their idol worship.
Isaiah 25:10 “For the Lord’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem. But Moab will be crushed.
It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.”
He had left the land of blessing for the land that would be trampled down. After some time there he died and Naomi was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, which also was not acceptable to God.
Deuteronomy 23:3 “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. As long as you live, you must never promote the welfare and prosperity of the Ammonites or Moabites.”
After 10 years both of her sons died, leaving her with her 2 daughter-in-laws. She felt alone.
Then she heard the news that the famine had ended, so she and her 2 daughter-in-laws packed to leave to return to her homeland. But as they traveled toward Judah, she decided to send them home. She thanked them for their kindness, she blessed them, she kissed them goodbye, and she wept with them.
First they both refused but after some sound argument she convinced one to leave. The other clung tightly to her. This one was Ruth. When Naomi saw Ruth’s determination she allowed her to go.
Let’s look at her homecoming.
Ruth 1:19-20 “So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.