Bitter & Sweet

After Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth have become completely destitute the Lord graciously sends a message of providence: He has visited His people in Israel with food. Where there was no hope now seems to have a glimmer of it. But Naomi doesn't want her daughters-in-law to suffer like she will for the rest of their lives. She implores them to go to their mothers' homes, to the place of marital eligibility again and to take new husbands; going back to their people and gods. Orpah does as such but Ruth makes an incredible statement of devotion and fierce loyalty. Upon getting to Bethlehem, the women of the town see how much Naomi has changed. She is not only bitter on the inside but her outside appearance is likely changed as well. Her name means kind, lovely, or sweet but she wants to be called bitter: Mara. She levels four accusations against the Lord and assumes no self-responsibility. She is the victim of a "harsh" God she thinks. Ruth had every right to be bitter too: she also lost her husband and she was barren, but she chose not to be. We always have a choice. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 to remove all bitterness, not just some. Hebrews 12:15 says to pull out the root of bitterness as it is corrupting us. No one can simultaneously enjoy God's blessings, be tender-hearted, forgiving, and loving while also bitter. One drop of bitter corrupts everything. We must confess it to God, remember the details of our hurts no longer, and call upon the grace we received at the cross. For if all our sins are forgiven us, how could we hold any debts against God or another?

Jun 23, 2024
Sunday Service
Ruth 1:6-22
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