(May 21, 2020)

Ruth 1:3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons.” 

So here we are in the unsettled times of the Judges, with a famine in Bethlehem. And it is heartbreaking to say that this Jewish family had to leave the Promised Land for a time in order to survive.

This pulls at our heartstrings because this is one precious family. “Elimelech” means “my God is King.” Elimelech just sounds like he is one fine devoted and faithful man. His name exudes his delight and confidence in the Lord. And the bond that he and his wife had was so dear. “Naomi” means “my sweetness” or “my delight.” You can sense the deep love that this husband and wife had for one another. Yes, this is one dear family going through one painful time. They could not wait until life returned to normal.

Except it never did. Elimelech died. And Naomi’s hope for a normal life died with him. So sad. And Naomi – the passive Hebrew verb form is used here – “was left.” If you linger over the verse, maybe you sense her loneliness. She has a void. Yes, the kids are there but she is alone.

It is heartbreaking that trouble upon trouble comes upon this dear sweet faithful couple.

* * *

So what can Naomi do now? Or better yet – what will she do now? These are two very different questions. She could complain. And be bitter. And impatient. Or, she could resolve to continue where we left off yesterday: come what may, she will remain committed to the basics. Faith, hope and love.

The question, of course, is what about us?

Are you finding this week to be trying? Despite how we may feel in the moment, the faithful refuse to declare with their lives anything other than My God is King. That He is in Charge. Because He is.

The perennial question, whose answer sometimes is not so obvious, is what does that faithfulness look like in my life today? …So what’s God doing in you?

Father, we celebrate You. You are our Great King. You are in charge even now. May our lives declare this truth. Keep us faithful to You. In the Name of Christ our King, Amen.