Today you should read: Ruth 1:14-22
Contract: an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not doing of something specified.
Today we continue the story of Naomi returning home to Bethlehem from the land of the Moabites. We read earlier in chapter one that Naomi’s husband and two sons have died. Now she is only left with her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. We see a great deal of heartbreak between these three women as they had all suffered loss. However, there is something more than heartbreak found in Naomi. She is extremely bitter toward the Lord and has a lot of self-pity (pride) in her speech.
“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).
Why does she say things like “I went away full, and the Lord brought me back empty”? Her retirement plan had been taken away. In her culture, there was no such thing as a 401K, social security, or welfare. Women had to rely on their husbands to take care of them. If something were to happen to their husband, their sons would take care of them. So Naomi felt that God had ruined her.
In other words, Naomi had a “contract relationship” with God. It stated: “If you bless me and take care of me, I will worship you. If you do not do these things, I will not worship you and I will let everyone know that my life is terrible because of you”. Naomi found her happiness in her family and God was the agent that upheld her dream. Many of us have “contract relationships” with God. We desire to have the Christianized American dream and if God allows trials to come into our lives we become angry with him. Let me clear something up: God does not make contracts. He only makes covenants through His grace.
Grace is God’s love extended to us through His son, Jesus. It has nothing to do with us and he owes us nothing. He has not promised us a good life; He has only promised us Himself. We are to find our hope and identity in Jesus and Jesus alone.
Posted by: Chad Wiles