Call Me Mara Ruth 1:19-22 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Naomi means “pleasant;” Mara means “bitter.” In Ruth 1:19-22, Naomi tells her friends in Bethlehem to Call me Mara, because she was bitter. This formerly pleasant wife and mother of two sons had returned a widow and childless.
Have you ever felt like saying, “Call me Mara?” You have if you have ever been that bitter. Bitterness causes you to:
Blame God for your circumstances – v.20-21 – She complained that the Almighty dealt bitterly with her, that the Lord brought her home empty, that the Lord testified against her, and that the Almighty had afflicted her. Really?
Overrate your past blessings – v.21 – she said, “I went out full.” That’s a bit of an exaggeration. She wasn’t full when she left; she and her family were running from a famine. She had sons but she had no daughters-in-law when she left. And she had a husband that led her away from Bethlehem, “the house of bread,” to the land of the Moabites, who were enemies of the Jews.
Miscalculate your present dilemma – v.21 – she said that the Lord brought her home “empty.” She was far from empty. She had a city full of compassionate friends [v.19], a home [v.21], Ruth [v.4:15], who was better than 7 sons, and Boaz [2:1], who was a wealthy near kinsman.
Underestimate your future prospects – v.22 – she felt like she was hopeless. However, they arrived at the beginning of barley harvest which allowed them to glean through the entire harvest of barley and wheat [2:23]. She had forgotten, when she was telling Ruth and Orpah about their future prospects for husbands in Bethlehem [v.12-13] that they could marry a near kinsman. And there was one who was even closer that Boaz [3:12]. Through her marriage to Boaz, Ruth becomes the great grandmother of David the king.
God is not at fault here. He can help you just like he did Naomi and Ruth. So, quit being bitter, Mara!