Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.
I'm Mike Whitmer and I titled our reading, What's Your Name? Jen remarried after her first husband died. The children of her new husband never accepted her, and now that he's passed away too, they hate her for remaining in their childhood home. Her husband left a modest sum to provide for her. His kids say she's stealing their inheritance.
Jen is understandably discouraged. And she's grown bitter. In the book of Ruth, Naomi's husband moved the family to Moab, where he and their two sons died.
Years later, Naomi returned to Bethlehem empty-handed, except for her daughter-in-law Ruth. The town was stirred and asked, can this be Naomi? She said they shouldn't use that name, which means my pleasant one. She said they should call her Mara, which means bitter, because I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Is there a chance your name is bitter? You've been disappointed by friends, family, or declining health. You deserved better, but you didn't get it.
Now you're bitter. Naomi came back to Bethlehem bitter, but she came back. You can come home too. Come to Jesus, the descendant of Ruth, born in Bethlehem. Rest in His love. In time, God replaced Naomi's bitterness with the joyful fulfillment of His perfect plan. He can replace your bitterness too.
Come home to Him. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Ruth chapter 1, verses 3-8 and verses 15-21. Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth.
After they had lived there about ten years, both Malon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of His people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law, she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.
And now, picking up at verse 15. Look, said Naomi, your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods, go back with her. But Ruth replied, Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, Can this be Naomi?
Don't call me Naomi, she told them. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.
Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me. The Almighty has brought misfortune upon me. Let's pray. Our Father, we're coming home to find our rest in your Son. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-03 20:32:09 / 2023-02-03 20:34:07 / 2