Why am I so bitter? How do I overcome bitterness with hope? Bitterness is common to all of us, and we’re all susceptible to becoming bitter in our lives. So how do we get around it? How do we overcome bitterness with hope? Find hope here.
Bitterness and Hope
Death. Left alive is mother-in-law Naomi, and 2 young daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. Heartbreak, bitterness, no love. Naomi, an Israelite, was in a foreign pagan land with these pagan young women who had married her sons. Moabite girls were known to seduce Israelite boys and turn them toward pagan worship.
Root of Bitterness
Ruth and Orpah whisper, we are a family no more. We have no children. Will she accept us? Our husbands, her sons, are dead. Her husband is dead. We don’t belong here anymore. We should leave. We are childless and cursed but still young.
Naomi thinks, will they accept me? Submit to me? Follow me? Belong to me? What am I to them? Am I wanted? Needed? I am nothing.
But we are here, and we are needy. We are together now, sort of a family. We are walking toward the real God, the God of my youth, toward God’s people. Where else would we walk?
When our husbands were alive it was good here, but we worshipped a lesser god. We need to do this now, we have nothing left, but we will have the one true God. Naomi said, “my daughters, go back to your mothers.”
But Ruth stayed with Naomi. She watched Naomi in her struggles and saw her character and faith. She had to stay with her.
Naomi said, my life is too bitter for you to share. Return to your mother and have a life. Ruth clung to Naomi. In the middle of the crisis, she says, where you go I will go, where you live I will live, your people will be my people, where you die I will die.
Naomi said to the Israelites, don’t call me Naomi, call me bitterness. She was literally the definition of bitterness, self-described.
Ruth is rejected by the Israelites. She is a form of God’s judgement of Israel. Ruth stays the course and doesn’t waver.
Overcome Bitterness with Hope
They barely have a thread of hope. But God blesses them. God provides food for them, and He provides the best Israelite husband possible for Ruth. Boaz watched Ruth and saw her character and hard work. He called her daughter and family even though he knew who she was. He protected and provided for her. He loved her because God loves her. She is not charity, she is to be valued and honored.
Bitterness in the Bible
How can we apply this story personally? Naomi allows God to enter her bitterness and her broken family. She shows us extreme faith. In her worst times she did not fall and pity herself, but she stood up and moved toward God. This took humility, strength and faith. When you have nothing, turn to your God.
Ruth is the main star of this book. She rejects everything that is herself, and turns toward a God and a people that is unknown to her. But she sees enough of God in Naomi that she decides to follow Him. She knows she will be a widow in a land that rejects her, but God is there. Ruth’s story is a conversion story, her old life dies and she is reborn as a new creation. She is now a child of God. God blesses her more than imagined.
Get Rid of All Bitterness
Has your old life died spiritually and have you been reborn? Pray, repent of your sins, give God everything so you are nothing, then let Him build you back up.
Boaz is a strong man of God. He is a man of honor. He is the best of men. Only the best of men would do what he did. He was God’s blessing to Ruth and Naomi. He had God in him so that he saw Ruth as God saw her, not as people saw her.
Can you look at broken people with the eyes of God and see them as souls? Can you look beyond their faults and honor and love them? Get so prayerful that Jesus in you shines brightly, and let that light shine in this dark world.
If you are wondering “why am I so bitter?” and are wondering if Jesus really could actually deliver you from that bitterness, please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page.