On the surface it appeared that Elimelech was just taking care of his family’s needs. But once we understand that God had instructed His people to not leave their land, even during the famine, we see that Elimelech chose not to trust God and moved to a land that was forbidden.
Today, I’d like us to take a look at Naomi, Elimelech’s wife. Did Naomi make the decision to leave Bethlehem and go to a foreign country? No, but she has had her whole life turned upside down by her husband’s decision. No one ever plans for bad things to happen, but life happens and we are left with the outcomes. We also are left to deal with the consequences of the sin or circumstance that brought us to the place where we are.
We need a heavenly perspective to really see God in our circumstances and Naomi did not have that. While in Moab, Naomi’s husband and both sons died, leaving her with two daughter-in-laws that were Moabites and no means of support. Her grief completely consumed her and she was in survival mode. Ever been there? I have. It is not a good place to be. If you don’t keep going through the motions you will completely fall apart. Even those in the church will tell you never to admit that because you are accepti.ng something of the devil’s plan and not God’s. That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Sorry if that offends you but the Word of God tells us that we are to be transparent with God, He knows the truth already and He knows us better than we know ourselves. What can we gain if we aren’t honest with God? I can tell you where you will be, STUCK, and that isn’t a position of gain!
Of course, Naomi isn’t seeing things through God’s eyes, but she is being honest with what is going on in her mind and heart. She is hurting, she is devastated and she has lost hope. But even in the midst of all her pain, she decides to go back to Bethlehem because she knows she will die if she stays in Moab. But even with that knowledge, this wasn’t going to be an easy day trip, it was long and dangerous. But at this point, I don’t think any cost would have been too great to stop her from going back to where God was calling her.
Until we are willing to allow God to take us back to the place where the problem, the sin, etc. happened, we aren’t going to be healed. Sometimes we can’t physically return to the physical location, but whether physically or spiritually, God will have us go back to the place where we got off course and begin to restore. Romans 8: 28 tells us, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
You will remember that when Naomi left Bethlehem to go to Moab she was "full". Do you know what she meant? She was full of God's love and blessings, she trusted Him, I believe she had a close relationship with Him. Why? Because she was always sharing those parts of her life with her daughter-in-laws which had a great impact on their lives. But Naomi was the one who changed her name from Naomi, which meant pleasantness of Jehovah, to Mara which meant bitter. God didn't change her name, she changed her name to identify herself by what she was feeling. Oh my dear one, how often do we begin to take on the offensive characteristics of circumstances in our lives? How often we begin believing the lie of circumstances rather than trusting God and praising Him through the storm! Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it is the natural response of man, but we have a choice of how to respond. No, we don't thank God because we are devastated but we worship Him in the midst of the storm! Ask Him for a heavenly perspective. As you begin to reside in Him during this time, He will begin sharing His heart with you and you will begin understanding with spiritual insight what you could not have seen or understand prior to your circumstances. Let God sweeten the "bitter" waters of your soul! He loves you beyond our level of comprehension in the natural realm.
Oh, beloved, aren’t you glad that He cares for us? In this case we literally see Him enfold the widows and orphans into His arms and see His lavish love! Just because Naomi may not “see” God’s hand or “feel” His love right at this moment, it doesn’t make it any less true. He repeatedly reassures us in His word that He will never leave us or forsake us. He even goes so far as to tell us that as He was with Moses, so He will be with us!
Jehovah, I pray for a hunger in our hearts to “know You”; that the same hunger that was in Moses would be in us! You know our every need, You know every hair on our head, You know our every thought before we do, You know the plans You have for us! But how much do we “know” of You? I hunger to know more of You, to allow Your presence to take over my mind and heart. I want to see with heavenly eyes, to see spiritually to see things as You see them! Only through trusting in You will we experience the peace which surpasses all understanding. It will be during those times of heartache, sickness or circumstances that we are devastated by, that we too can say, “It is well with my soul”. I love You, Yeshua and thank You for Your amazing love which cost You Your life that I might live in You. May You be glorified today not only in my life, but in those around me. Amen!