Within the story of Naomi and Ruth is this portion I wrote in my book (as yet to be published, if ever). Since we are entering the season of Advent, I pray this may bless you and dwell deep within your hearts.
It all started with Naomi in the little town of Bethlehem. Biblical names have always held great significance, so, to understand where Naomi lived, we first need to look at Bethlehem’s description.
Bethlehem’s original name was Ephratah (meaning fruitfulness or fruitful land) and was sometimes used in the shortened version as Ephrath. Located about five to six miles south of Jerusalem (meaning possession of peace, foundation of peace, or teaching of peace), Bethlehem is nestled in the district of Judah (meaning praise).
Tucked in among the fertile hills of this land of praise lay this quiet, little village. Later, a shepherd boy would pasture his father’s flocks in these fields and sing them the praises of his God. Much later, heavenly songs of praise would ascend above the fields, filling the atmosphere with angelic voices, welcoming the Redeemer of the world born here.
This little village became known as Bethlehem-Ephratah and eventually became Bethlehem (meaning house of bread).
Do you see anything in all that? If not, look again. As the lineage of Christ came through the bloodline of Judah, the land of praise birthed “the Bread of God” (John 6:33 AMPC) from heaven. The House of Bread dwelt in the fruitful land of praise!
Life depended upon the harvests of the grains, which depended upon the rains. As the sustenance of life, bread was, in a sense, considered sacred, as a gift of God through His benevolence to allow the rain and the harvests. It remained a daily reminder of man’s unbroken dependence upon God for His provision, evidenced in the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11 NKJV)
Our spiritual food, as the Living Bread, rests in the midst of the field of our praise. “Lord, give us this bread always.” (John 6:34 NKJV)
In this celebration season of Christ’s birth, as our schedules multiple, let us take time to remember where it all started. In God’s House. In His heart of love. And sent us His Son, the Living One, the Living Bread, to dwell in our midst. Our Immanuel. God with us. Our Daily Bread forever.
May you find that Living Bread in the midst of your praise!