Every Day Light
The marks of disobedience
"The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me." (v. 21)
For reading & meditation:
After the long journey from Moab, Naomi, in company with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, finally reaches Bethlehem. There she is welcomed by the whole community, who seemingly turn out in force to greet her. One can deduce from the question "Can this be Naomi?" (v. 19) something of the change that must have taken place in her appearance. Undoubtedly, the circumstances through which she had passed, and the sojourn in Moab, had left deep marks upon her. Naomi's response is swift, and still tinged with self-recrimination: "Don't call me Naomi [sweet or pleasant] — Call me Mara [unpleasant], because the Almighty has made my life very bitter." Although there might have been some feelings of self-recrimination in Naomi's heart, the fact must not be overlooked that she was also a living testimony of what happens to those who choose some way other than God's way. "Those who take God's way," says Dr. E. Stanley Jones, "get results. Those who don't get consequences." I have met many who stepped out of the will of God, and although they returned to Him and were forgiven, they still carry in their bodies and personalities the consequences of their actions. I heard of a Christian who, finding he had homosexual tendencies, decided to engage in one homosexual encounter - just to see what it would be like. He contracted AIDS, and unless the Lord heals him or a cure is found, he will probably die. We ought to remember that if we move away from the will of God, the sin in which we engage can be forgiven, but the marks of sin may remain in us and upon us for a lifetime.
Father, I see that in this world I can either get results - or consequences. Help me not to go against the grain of the universe, for life is designed to move in one way - Your way. Teach me to walk in Your statutes. Amen.
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