God Can Turn “Mara” Into Miracles!

It’s incredible what the Lord can orchestrate and do!

I’ve been reading the book Ruth – It contains the story of Naomi (and her daughter-in-law, Ruth) in the Bible…

Naomi lived during the difficult time of the Judges in Israel and had to, along with her husband and two sons, leave her homeland because of a famine and move to Moab. There her husband, Elimelech, died… and if that wasn’t bad enough, her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, also died. Life for widows in that culture were incredibly challenging! They were often left penniless and vulnerable! Naomi not only was left without her husband and sons, she had herself and her two daughters-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, to be concerned about! She heard a report that things had improved in Israel, so she decided to return there. Orpah decided to stay in Moab, but loyal Ruth committed to stay with Naomi.

Upon returning to Israel, frustrated, fearful, and struggling with bitterness, Naomi told her old friends, “Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara (meaning “Bitter,” 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!” (1:20-21)

So what to do? Naomi urged her daughter-in-law, Ruth, to draw upon the compassion offered the poor by gleaning grain in the fields of the farmers. Ruth “happened upon” the field of a wealthy farmer, Boaz, and was treated compassionately and generously by him and his laborers. Boaz, just happened to be the near relative of Naomi’s family! In Jewish law, a near relative was referred to as a “kinsman redeemer” and had not only the right to purchase the property of a deceased male family member, but also the responsibly of taking the wife of the deceased and perpetuating the family name.

Wealthy Boaz officially arranged for this with Ruth! They were married and the story ends like this…

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’ Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David… Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David!” (From Ruth 4:13–18 ESV) [And Jesus, was the “son of David,” the Messiah and our Savior!]

Now how good is that?! Naomi, the one who wanted to change her name to Mara (meaning “Bitter”) becomes mother-in-law to the richest, most influential man in the area, and Ruth, her daughter-in-law, bears a son who is in the line of King David… and ultimately Jesus Christ, our Savior!

I don’t know what you might be going through right now, but your present situation is not the final story with God in charge! There is hope! In the words of Apostle Paul, “He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us!” (Ephesians 3:20) And we are “More than conquerors through Him who loved us” and “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:37-39) So here is my advice… Don’t panic! Don’t get bitter! Give your situation to God, trust the Lord, and see what He will do! He can turn “Mara” into miracles!

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