Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Read Ruth Chapter One
In Chapter One, Naomi goes from having a full, safe and secure life to having her husband and sons die while living in a foreign land. Toward the end of Chapter One Naomi does not want to be called by her name, which means pleasant, but she wants to be called Mara which means bitter. Over the last ten days or so, all of our lives have taken a dramatic shift like Naomi’s life. We went from relative prosperity, health, safety and freedom of movement to a completely different world in which we are at home most of the time and we may feel as if our lives are threatened. Such a change is enough to make us bitter as well. During this time I encourage all of us to be real with our feelings and be real with God. We should also try and remember that this situation was not a surprise to God and that he has seen his people through even more difficult times.
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
How did Naomi’s life change from the beginning of Chapter One to the end of Chapter One? What feelings do you think she experienced through the changes in her life? What feelings have you experienced during the last ten days?
At the end of Chapter One, Naomi is bitter at God. When have you been bitter with God? How did you deal with your bitterness? Are you bitter at God now? In your opinion is it ok to be bitter with God? Why or why not?
While Naomi is bitter with God she still acknowledges God. How can you acknowledge, worship and hold on to your faith at this time?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we often praise your name and thank you when life is easy but we may tend to blame you when life is not as easy and we are bitter. God I thank you that you understand our human emotions and our bitterness. Help us to see your hand at work in our life and the world at this difficult time. Help us to not turn away from you but to draw closer to you at this time. Amen.