A woman in the Bible called Naomi changed her name meaning, “my delight,” to Mara, meaning, “bitter” or “bitterness.” She changed her name because she felt, “...the Almighty, hath dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). Why did she feel this way? Because Naomi lost her entire world.
Naomi, along with her husband, Elimelech, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved to Moab because of a famine in their homeland. While they were in Moab, Elimelech died. Mahlon and Chilion married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. Eventually, Mahlon and Chilion also died, leaving Naomi alone.
Naomi decided to move back home and told her daughters-in-law to return to their people. Orpah followed her mother-in-law’s advice, but Ruth chose to stay with Naomi. When Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem, Naomi told the people not to call her “my delight” anymore, but to call her “bitter,” explaining that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. She lost her husband and her two sons, and she probably returned to Bethlehem without much, if any, money. I can see why Naomi felt the Lord had dealt “very bitterly” with her. I’ve felt that way about the Lord too.
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