Jesus - The Reason for The Season

Reason For Season

Naomi Suffered From Depression


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The Bible and Depression Bible Study

Week 10 - Naomi is Restored

Brief Review

In Step 3 we looked at a prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 about Jesus Christ. We saw that Jesus was anointed by God to bring the garment of praise for relief from the spirit of heaviness.


In Steps 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 we studied the Biblical record of depression of Elijah, Job, Hannah, David, Jonah, Moses and Jeremiah. All were restored by the Lord.

Depression – A Study of Disaster followed by Depression

We see the account of an Israelite family (Elimelech and his wife Naomi; Mahlon and Chilion, their sons) who move from Bethlehem to Moab during a time of famine, Ruth 1:1-2.


1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.


While this sounds normal, if we take a closer look at Moab we see how this move contributed to the steps leading up to the depression of Naomi. The creation of the country of Moab is revealed in Genesis 19: 36-38


36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

37 And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Thus we see the country of Moab was created in immorality and it drifted into idolatry and other forms of sin and abominations. By the time of the Exodus, Moab worshiped a false god, Numbers 21:29

29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.


During the time of the Judges, which was the time of Ruth, Moab was considered cursed: Deuteronomy 23:3-4


3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever:

4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.


When Elimelech moved his family to Moab, he was in effect moving to a lifestyle in conflict with Scripture. Should we be surprised that this led into disaster? With different cultural situations do we also run the same risk? Of course we do …


Disaster and Depression


Disaster strikes in the land of immorality and idol worship. Ruth 1:3-5


3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.


The head of household and chief provider dies, leaving this family in a weakened position. This happened in a land devoid of any spiritual or family support group. Both sons in conflict with Scripture marry Moab women (Deuteronomy 23:3-4). Then both sons die without any children. At this point Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws have no means of support or future generations to care for them.


Disaster becomes Depression

In the culture of the times this is nothing less than disaster which results in depression. Ruth 1:12-13.


12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.


While Naomi is sinking into depression we see the Lord’s Plan and Naomi’s Restoration evolving. Ruth insists on returning to Israel with Naomi and accepts Naomi’s God. In verse 16:

“ … and thy God my God: …”.


After returning to Bethlehem with Ruth, Naomi sinks further into depression. Naomi refuses to use her name. She told them to call her Mara because the Lord had dealt harshly with her.  Ruth 1:19-21


19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?


In the depths of depression, we see Naomi confessing that the Lord had afflicted her for living in the land of Moab. She discards the culture of Moab and begins to instruct Ruth in the ways of Israel.


Naomi and Ruth Restored


Naomi takes her focus off self-pity and begins instructing Ruth in the Hebrew Scripture. Although this is not explicitly stated, Ruth has been taught about “gleaning”. In Ruth 2:1-2:


1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.


You see the Lord’s Plan unfolding in the humble act: Ruth 2:11-12


11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

12 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.


And Naomi continues her instruction: Ruth 3:3-4


3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.


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