God Always Has a Plan
I call your attention once again to vs. 21, ''I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
INTRODUCTION: The story of Ruth takes place during the time of the judges, a time of tremendous hardship and famine. Because of the famine, Elimelech, Naomi's husband, decides to take his family to Moab to find relief. While there, his two sons marry daughters of the Moabites, Orpah and Ruth.
As time goes on, Elimelech dies as does his two sons; only Naomi, Orpah and Ruth are left. Naomi decides to return to Israel. Her two daughters-in-law want to return with her, but Naomi insists that they stay with their own people. Orpah makes the decision to stay, but Ruth returns with Naomi.
Upon her return, Naomi, in the midst of frustration and despair, makes this statement in vv. 20, 21, ''And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
How many times have Christians, when confronted with hardship and uncertainty made similar statements? ''Oh, God, why did you allow this to happen to me? I went out full; I was dong okay, until this happened? The Lord has testified against me; He has spoken against me, and hath afflicted me.''
Naomi's problem was that she did not understand the Lord's will; she was not aware that God was planning something in her life...that there was a greater picture unfolding; and in time, He would reveal His plan. She could not see beyond her grief and her trouble. She only saw the hurt and the pain; her life was limited by her own spiritual blindness. Remember what the Lord said, ''For we walk by faith, not by sight'' (2 Cor. 5:7).
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