She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
– Ruth 1:20-21
Continuing our study of the Old Testament Historical Characters, we turn to the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is about the covenant faithfulness of the Lord to ensure the arrival of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Ruth many times is labeled a love story, either between Ruth and Boaz, or the love shown between a mother and a daughter-in-law. However, it is about God’s amazing love for all humankind that leads to the Messiah.
Naomi has lost her husband and her sons and feels that God is punishing her; that she is alone. However, we see the Lord was working even in the midst of Naomi’s dark providence. God’s timing isn’t like our timing, but His redemptive purposes are as sure as ever.
From Ruth’s vow saying: “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried,” to Naomi ending up with a grandson, Obed, that shall be a restorer of life and a nourisher of her old age, we see the Grace and Mercy of God as well as our limited scope of understanding.