Summary: This sermon is about finding God's blessings for you when life has been bitter. It is also about being a good parent.
NAOMI: FROM PLEASANT TO BITTER TO BETTER
1. THE PLEASANT WIFE AND MOTHER.
Ruth 1:1-2 Now it came about in the days when the judges [a]governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab [b]with his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.
Naomi- Hebrew name “pleasant”- Imagine Naomi as a little girl playing outside with her Barbie Dolls. She has a Barbie house, her boyfriend Ken, and a pink Barbie sports race donkey to ride. Naomi is happy and pleasant, filled with hopes and dreams about how wonderful her life will be when she meets her “Ken doll” and gets married.
She marries Elimelech and begins her fairytale marriage.
“life happens”- famine throughout Judah. Difficult times.
Her husband is doing the best he can. He decides it’s time to move where he can find work to support the family.
* Notice that Naomi is devoted to and supportive of her husband. She is faithful to him. She follows her husband. Life is still good.
** Ladies the first advice from Naomi’s life I can give you is this:
Always honor your husband and be faithful to him. Trust him as the leader of your family. Do not ever marry a man that you cannot honor, cannot trust, cannot submit yourself to, cannot be faithful to.
** As a mother, your children should NEVER hear you disrespect your husband or cut him down in any way. They should be taught to respect their father by following that example from their mother.
The best gift that you can give your daughter is to live your life as an example of a submissive wife! The best gift you can give your son is an example of the kind of woman he should look for in a wife.
Even though things are difficult, it’s still a pleasant life.
2. THE BITTERNESS OF A BROKEN HEART.
Ruth 1:3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.
Notice that even though Naomi’s heart is broken, she hasn’t just checked out. She is their for her sons. She continues to be there for them. It’s difficult. Probably very lonely times without her husband, but she does her best to give her sons a good life.
Ruth 1:4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.
Joy and life have returned to her home and she must have been an awesome Mom for her sons and her daughters-in-law.
* How do I know? Later you will see how much they loved her.
Your ministry as a parent continues even if you lose your spouse or suffer from a broken heart.
Advice: After going thru hard times, seize each and every day and find the joys life has to offer you. You only get 1 life, you can choose to wallow in bitterness, anger, and depression or you can take the hand that has been dealt you and do the best you can.
Also, Show the same love for the people your children marry as you do for your own children.
Ruth 1:5-7 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband. 6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the Lord had visited His people in giving them food. 7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
There is nothing left for Ruth in Moab except a cemetery, a broken heart, and broken dreams. But there is still hope!
* God’s Grace was poured out on her as He sends news that the famine is over in Israel. Even through her funeral tears, she hears God’s voice.
* Advice. In your darkest hour, keep your eyes focused on God, listen for Him, trust His Word, and obey and follow Him.
Ruth 1:8-15 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, but we will surely return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is [d]harder for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me.” 14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.