When Everything Goes Wrong

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 1:3-5

But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died. (v. 3)

Naomi was a refugee, living in a foreign country. But the loss of her home was only the
first in a series of losses. While they were in Moab her husband died, then, one after
another, her two sons.

“She deserved it,” some of her own people, if they heard about it, probably said. “The
family should never have gone to live among the heathen Moabites in the first place.
Certainly the boys ought not to have married Moabite girls.”

But that is a cruel judgment, and a wrong one too. Through much of Bible history there
were friendly contacts between Israel and the surrounding nations. Even marriages between
them were not necessarily frowned on. We are wrong if we ask “What had Naomi done to
deserve all this?” Jesus warns us in Luke 13:1-5 not to jump to the conclusion that a
person’s trouble is always the result of that person’s sin.

God does have an object in beginning the story with a tragedy. He means us to question it. What he means us to ask, though, is not “What made things go wrong?” but “Who will put things right?”


Lord, make us more interested in blessing for the future than in blame for the past. Amen.