Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
TITLE: Naomi's Blog
By Joanney Uthe
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If times were hard in draught ridden Judah, they got worse in Moab when my sons both died. Our little nest-egg wouldn’t support three widows for long. A life of hunger and gleaning awaited me. When the news came that God had rescued Judah from the draught, I decided to return home, thinking my chances were better among my own people.
Every muscle ached as my daughters-in-law helped me pack everything we owned and started for Judah. What a sight we must have made; an old Israelite lady and two young Moabite beauties. As a twig under my foot snapped, so did my pride. Putting aside my own grief and needs, I knew I could not take them with me. “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”*
Only after reasoning with her did Orpah obey and return to her parents’ home. My bitter heart almost broke as we said good-bye, but I knew it was best for her. She would find another husband and have the family she deserved.
Ruth was more stubborn. She clung to me, begging me not to make her return home. I will never forget her words. “Do not 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 ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”**
I realized that was the attitude that I should have taken with Elimelech. I had been the obedient wife and followed him to Moab. I had lived out Ruth’s words, but out of obligation, not gratitude. Would Mahlon have found this faithful of a wife if he had finished his growing-up years in Judah? Yet, even her cheerfulness did not dissolve my bitterness. God had afflicted me and I told the people of Bethlehem that very thing when they greeted us.
Ruth worked hard gleaning barley for us. Sweat and dirt overshadowed her natural beauty. Even so, she caught the eye of one of our kinsman-redeemers, Boaz. Her reputation for having cared for me gained favor in his eyes, giving her his protection and extra grain to glean.
I thought that wisdom came with age. As the elder woman, I should have been the one who taught my daughter-in-law, a foreigner who grew up with other gods, how to trust the Almighty One and to rely on His wisdom and provision in every situation. Instead, Ruth showed me all these things and how to truly love as well.
I’ve come to realize the truth of Abba’s words that God uses everything to complete His plan. We are not longer two poor widows, gleaning grain to feed ourselves. Instead, I sit here holding my grandchild, the son of Ruth and Boaz. The child has his mother’s smile and his Abba’s eyes. Such a beauty treasure God has bestowed on this precious couple. How can I look at this miracle child and the blessings God has given me through Ruth and remain bitter? No, God has not afflicted me. He used my circumstances to bring Ruth to Boaz. I wonder what he has planned for this child in my arms.
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