Every Day Light
"Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home —" (v. 6)
For reading & meditation:
After Naomi has recovered from the shock of losing her husband and two sons in the land of Moab, she hears that Israel is once again a flourishing land and she makes up her mind to return to her people. When she announces her intentions to her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, they decide to accompany her on the journey home. As the three make their way out of Moab, Naomi feels it necessary to point out to the young women that their chances of finding someone to marry in Canaan would be very remote. What mother in Israel would allow her son to marry a woman from Moab? Naomi makes it clear that if she had other sons who were eligible for marriage, she would gladly give them to her two bereaved daughters-in-law, but as this is not so she encourages them to return to their own homes. At this point Naomi seems saddened and overwhelmed by all that has happened and utters these solemn words: "It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out against me" (v. 13). We must be careful not to read too much into this statement, but I feel that there were some feelings of self-recrimination reverberating beneath that remark. Naomi, being an Israelite, would have known how to approach God for forgiveness. However, it would appear that she has not yet forgiven herself. Self-pity and self-contempt are always signals that say one has not really received the divine forgiveness. Whenever you are in need of forgiveness, open your soul to receive it, and then make sure you do not short-circuit the spiritual system by failing to forgive yourself.
Heavenly Father, I see how easy it is to allow sorrow for my sin to become self-reproach or self-pity. Help me, whenever I am in need of forgiveness, to receive it from You, and then to forgive myself. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
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