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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 26, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: Ruth 1-4


Ruth 1:20

And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.


At the time the above was spoken, Naomi did not know chapter four. She did not know that her daughter in law would be married to a “mighty man of wealth” or that she would become nurse to a boy named Obed that would be the grandfather of King David, or that or that she would be part of a story that sets the stage for the balance of the books of history, or that her name is forever memorialized in the eternal Word of God. She didn’t know any of this. Like Job of old, she was just living life and had no understanding of the wonderful works of God that He had in store for her. When she said …the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. That was her perspective. But by the end of chapter four she knew otherwise.


It is interesting to note that the events of the book of Ruth took place around the time of Judges 4 between Jabin the Canaanite king that oppressed the children of Israel for twenty years and Deborah/Barak who delivered Israel from Jabin. A rough estimate would put Ruth’s story around 1260 BC. This was before Gideon, before the Bramble king (Abimelech), before Samson, and just about 35 years before Samuel was born. This was a busy time in Israel’s history, one in which the Lord was doing great things behind the scenes preparing for His nation to become the true world leader.


But Naomi could not see all of that. She could only relate to her sorrow. All she knew was: I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (1:21) As Paul Harvey would say “She didn’t know the rest of the story.” 


Neither do we! But we all have a chapter four coming. Then it will make sense, it will all make sense then!


Dr. William T. Howe


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