God Turns Mourning Into Joy

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Ruth 4:16-17 (NIV)
Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Ruth 4:16-17 (MSG)
Naomi took the baby and held him in her arms, cuddling him, cooing over him, waiting on him hand and foot. The neighborhood women started calling him “Naomi’s baby boy!” But his real name was Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.
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“Then Naomi took the child and placed him in her lap, and she became his nurse. The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son (grandson) has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed (worshiper). He is the father of Jesse, the father of David [the ancestor of Jesus Christ].” -AMPLIFIED

Naomi’s hope and joy have been completely restored now. A grandchild has been born to her and this child will restore her family’s lineage and legacy. She had returned back to Bethlehem empty-handed, but now her cup was overflowing. God has blessed her in abundance!

God did not leave Naomi empty as she had thought. Remember she had changed her name from Naomi, which means joy or bliss, to Mara, which means bitterness. She had gone through a time of great suffering and darkness, but God turned her bitterness once again into joy. In fact, we find that over time God has used Naomi and her life’s sufferings to bless the world.

God had a plan. He always does. God’s plan was to give Naomi, “…a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, to anoint her with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap her in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness. People would call her magnificent, like great towering trees standing for what is right. She would stand in the glory of the Eternal who had planted her.” (Revision of Isaiah 61:3 VOICE Version)

Once again I think that Naomi would have agreed to the sentiment and words of her great, great, great grandson David, “You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” -Psalm 30:11-12 (AMP)

We have to know that Naomi and Ruth’s troubles, trials and sufferings would have had an impact on how their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren handled their own. Both women had learned to lean on God and trust Him in every circumstance. Those lessons learned would have been taught to their off-spring; so it is no wonder that time and time again we find that David and Solomon have words of wisdom that had been passed down to them from their great-great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents and even parents; this became part of their family legacy.

This child that was born to Ruth and Boaz with not only a family looking forward to his birth, but a whole village. Naomi took the baby into her lap and cared for him as his nurse or nanny. The ladies of the neighborhood called the child Naomi’s boy. In a way this was true; for this child would take the place of her lost son and this child would carry on her family’s name.

Interestingly enough this child would not be named by his parents or even his grandmother, but by the people of the neighborhood. They name him Obed, which meant “worshiper” or “a servant who worships God”.

The book of Ruth closes out with a genealogy:

“This is the family tree of Perez:
Perez had Hezron,
Hezron had Ram,
Ram had Amminadab,
Amminadab had Nahshon,
Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz,
Boaz had Obed,
Obed had Jesse,
and Jesse had David.” -Ruth 4:18-22 (MSG)

All of this is proof that Naomi’s hope and joy has been restored. Her family’s name would not die out. Their legacy would live on. In fact, the Amplified Version adds this footnote, “…David [the king of Israel and the ancestor of Jesus Christ].” Good things come to those who wait on God! He has turned Naomi and Ruth’s mourning into dancing!

My Prayer:
Lord, even in the hard times I pray that I will faithfully and humbly hold tight to you. You never promised that life would be easy without any bumps in the road. You did promise though that you would faithfully be with me, take care of me and provide for me. Help me to trust that you will bring me through to the other side victorious. Help me to have confidence in your great love for me; to know that you always have my best interests at heart and you are working all things out for my good. You have a plan! Turn my mourning into dancing, I pray.

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