Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart." (Proverbs 3:5)
We need to trust in God especially when we are depressed because our future seems bleak. Consider elderly Naomi, who lost her husband and her two sons to the enemy death. Yet, she kept on trusting in Jehovah. And how things changed for her! Naomi's widowed daughter-in-law Ruth became the wife of Boaz and gave birth to a son. Naomi became the child's nurse, and the account says: "The neighbor ladies gave it a name, saying: 'A son has been born to Naomi.' And they began to call his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, David's father." (Ruth 4:14-17) When Naomi is resurrected to life on earth, she will learn that Ruth, who will also be there, became an ancestress of Jesus, the Messiah. (Matthew 1:5, 6, 16) Like Naomi, we cannot be sure of how negative situations will turn out. Therefore, let us always trust in God, just as we are admonished in today's text.
(Watchtower issue: 02/15/08, 1:14, 15)
*this is slightly off topic, but you know how Oprah relates the story about how she got her name from the Bible character "Orpah" (Naomi's other daughter-in-law) but her mother didn't know how to spell it correctly, so she ended up naming her Oprah instead? Well I was thinking that Oprah's mom didn't just make a mistake in the spelling, she picked the wrong daughter-in-law altogether! Because it was Ruth who stuck with Naomi...Orpah was the one who left her. So maybe Oprah's mom mixed up the names of the women in the story, which means Oprah should have been named Ruth all along. lol.
*if you put yourself in Naomi's shoes, you can see why she told everyone to stop calling her Naomi (which means "My pleasantness") and to call her Mara instead (which means "bitterness") because her life seemed to have one tragedy happen after another. First, having to leave your homeland of Judah to go live in a foreign land because of the famine. Then experiencing the death of your husband soon after, leaving you with just your two sons. Then after your sons get married and you're thinking to yourself you might be a grandmother soon, having them both die at a relatively young age. So now you're neither a wife or a mother, and it looks like you'll never be a grandmother either. And on top of that, you're most likely going to have to make the journey back to your homeland all alone in your old age, since your daughters-in-law are not Israelites, so why would they want to come with you when that would mean leaving behind all their relatives and friends in Moab, and giving up the chance to remarry and have children? If that was running through your mind after experiencing one loss after another, the future would look quite dreary wouldn't it?
But in addition to what was already mentioned in today's text discussion, there are 2 other positive things that came from Naomi's adverse circumstances. First, it gave her the opportunity to see just how strong a bond of love & friendship existed between her and Ruth (who was more than willing to give up the prospect of returning to her homeland & former family, and remarrying & having children, in order to go with her). And secondly, it showed her that Jehovah can manuever matters to take care of his servants in ways that they could not possibly expect, or see coming. If we never went through hardships in life, we might never get to experience the same deep bond of love and friendship of others, expressed in our behalf (like Naomi did) or see Jehovah's ability to care for us in ways we would've never thought possible, regardless of the circumstance.