Cup of Bitterness
Naomi is known as the woman who tasted the cup of bitterness. The story of Naomi is found in the Book of Ruth in the Bible.
Who is Naomi? We know that she was the mother-in-law of Ruth. There is so much more to be said about Naomi. The name Naomi means “my joy”, “my bliss”, or “pleasantness of Jehovah”. It suggests a personality that is charming, agreeable, and attractive. You could even go on to say that she was a charming woman.
Naomi was the wife of Elimelech. They were of the Hebrew race. Naomi and Elimelech belonged to Bethlehem-Judah. They were the parents of two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.
During the rule of the Judges, Israel suffered a serious famine which was deemed to be one of the punishments visited upon the people when they had sinned (Leviticus 26:14, 16). Out of love and continuous provision for his family, Elimelech the Ephrathite of Bethlehem decided to move Naomi and their two sons to another land called Moab where the food was more plentiful. This land was considered a foreign country, although it was about 30 miles from Judah, because of foreign worship. They left Bethlehem, which was “the house of bread” for Moab, a place of “waste” or “nothingness.” With his family, Elimelech went from a place where the people honored God to a land that was evil in its ways.
Naomi’s two sons married women of Moab despite Jewish law. While in the foreign land of Moab, Naomi’s husband and two sons died. Because of the devastation of losing her husband and both sons, Naomi was desolate and filled with grief. Naomi became stricken with bitterness.
Naomi was sorrowful and bitter. Believing in God’s sovereignty, she attributed her suffering to the will of God. Feeling as if she had everything, she began to feel as if there was no hope for her. She had lost her husband and both sons in a foreign land that was far from God.
Bitterness is like an ulcer that eats away at us. Bitterness and resentfulness have a very close relation. It is bringing hurt to self.
Although we deal with a harsh outcome sometimes, we must not focus on the situation too long. The constant thought of the situation will only allow bitterness to eat away at us.
Bitterness causes us to hold on to situation too long. This prevents the joy that is just corner.
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