READ : Ruth 1:10-13
The hand of the Lord has gone out against me. (v. 13)
To me as an Englishman one of the most poignant photographs of the twentieth century is
one taken nearly sixty years ago at the funeral of King George VI in London. Three silent
women stand together, all in black, all veiled—three queens of England, his mother,
his widow, and his daughter.
The personal tragedy of the women in our Bible story goes even deeper. All are widows,
with no resources. Better that the girls stay in Moab, where at least they still have
relatives, than return with Naomi to Israel, where none of them will have anything.
In her bitterness Naomi turns against God because it seems he has turned against her:
“The Lord’s hand has gone out against me.” What do these words tell us? First, they are
her natural reaction to her tragic situation. We all want to blame someone else when
things go wrong, and when there is no one to blame, not even ourselves, we blame God.
That’s all right! He can take it!
But in the very act of blaming him, she shows that she still believes his hand controls the world. Did he let things go wrong? Whatever his purpose, one thing is certain—only he can put them right.
Lord, help us to hold on to you even when we don’t like what you do or choose not to do. Amen.