2 – Bitter to Sweet
Pursue the Sweets
“6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.”
Ruth 1:6-7 NIV (emphasis mine)
Naomi’s story teaches me some very important lessons about pursuing God’s very best in my life. I know there is much more to her story and the story of Ruth that this chapter and book addresses, but Ruth 1:6-7 teach some very practical insights about being in the blessing of God.
Naomi heard about God doing something great in Moab so she and her daughters-in-law prepared to go to Moab and be a part of what God was doing.
This set Naomi apart from many people in her day and in mine as well. Many people hear of God doing good things, and wish that He would do the same thing for them. Many hear the testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of others, and long for God to work in the same way in their lives.
Naomi not only heard about what God was doing, she got up and pursued His work! She didn’t only wish for God’s blessing to come to her, she got up and took action to put herself in a place to receive it!
It would have been easy for Naomi to sit back and feel sorry for herself. She could have stayed in Moab since it was probably more comfortable for her. She could have just complained about why God was doing something in Judah and not in Moab where she settled. She could have just wished that God would do something where she was at.
By the way, that is often how I deal with the blessings of God. I often want to wait until God’s hand comes upon me. I want to sit back in my comfort zone and wait until God unleashes something great where I am sitting and “waiting on God.”
Naomi aggressively pursued God’s blessing.
She didn’t passively wait for God’s blessings to come to her. She went and sought His blessings herself! Too many times, as a believer I will ask God to intervene and do all of the work while I direct Him through prayer on what He should or should not be doing. Instead, I ought to be getting up and pursuing the hand and blessings of God upon my life.
Naomi recognized that God’s hand was upon Israel and she got herself up to go and be at the place where God was blessing. She didn’t sit back. She didn’t hesitate.
Naomi got up and “left the place she had been living…”
Often times, my challenge is getting up and leaving the place I have been living. That represents the places I am familiar with, and the things I am familiar with. Leaving the place she had been living represents leaving behind the comfortable and taking a risk for God.
Naomi “set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah…”
Like Naomi, I need to recognize where the hand of God is active, and get up off my behind to pursue what He is blessing! Not only did she leave the familiar, she pursued the hand of God! Naomi was set to be in the place where God was blessing. She set her heart to return to the Lord no matter what.
God’s hand is all over History. His hand was all over Her-story. His hand is all over Your-story too!
By the way, I also learn something about what it means to be God’s people from these verses too. When God was blessing Judah, it made people want to come back to the Lord. People far from God noticed His blessing and said, “I want that too.” When God’s hand is on my life, others should be saying the same thing, “I want that too.”
Lord give me the tenacity of Naomi to press forward into Your blessing because I will not settle for less. Amen.