"Naomi said, ‘Sit back and relax, my dear daughter, until we find out how things turn out; that man (Boaz) isn't going to fool around. Mark my words, he's going to get everything wrapped up today.'"
Ruth 3: 18, The Message
"How to Live Your Life" by Two Women Who Knew What They Were Talking About!
5 Characteristics of Naomi - The Discerning Mother - Part III
"God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."
What do I think it means to be a person of "discernment?"
Have I asked God to bestow upon me His gift of "discernment?"
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
I Thessalonians 5: 21, K.J.V.
"A wise (woman's) heart discerneth both time and judgment."
Ecclesiastes 8: 5, K.J.V.
It is one of the most touching and insightful prayers in Scripture. After being crowned King of Israel, the young man, Solomon, was approached by God with this statement, "Ask what I shall give thee" (I King 3: 5). Now I have a question for you. If God came to you and basically offered to fulfill your most profound request, what would it be? This is such an interesting question and I have, on more than one occasion, thought about Solomon's response. For at this time, he wasn't an elderly man with years of experience under his belt. Solomon was young and handsome. He was rich and wise. And here at the beginning of his royal reign God says, "Ask for whatever you want Me to give you."
Much to the surprise of many, this young ruler responded, "Give your servant a discerning heart to lead your people well." As The Message Bible so beautifully shares this passage; "Give me a God-listening heart, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading Your glorious people?" (I Kings 3: 7-9).
Of all the gifts Solomon could have longed for and then asked of God, the gift of discernment was what he craved.
Sometimes I wonder, "Would I have shown the same wisdom as Solomon?"
As we review Naomi's life, I'm so thankful God left us with her unparalleled example as a woman of discernment. And I want to give you three specific examples in her life where this gift is seen:
Example #1: Naomi was discerning in her treatment of those who were not of her nationality or faith. Naomi had a "God-listening heart," which is what spiritual discernment is all about, to look past the exteriors of the Moabites and instead of snubbing them because they weren't "her kind," she chose to be a reflection of God's love. And what a difference it made. Naomi discerned the beauty in Ruth and Orpah because she looked past all previous biases and saw them through God's discerning eyes.
Example #2: Naomi was discerning in following the purpose God had for her life, even when it meant packing up and as a widow, embarking on a new path back to Bethlehem. Comfort with today's surroundings was not strong enough to blind Naomi to God's potential for her. Heavenly discernment cleared her vision to see all God had for her.
Example #3: Naomi was discerning in showing others how God could lead in their lives just as He had led in hers. From young motherhood to elderly widowhood, Naomi had learned life's lessons, instilled in her by a Father who used every event Naomi encountered in her life to help her become the teacher of others. Recently, I read about the gift of discernment and what it meant to those who were called to instruct others. This is how one individual distinguished someone who had been blessed with a discerning heart. They are, "a stranger to the desire for domination, vain-glory, and pride…not fooled by flattery, nor blinded by gifts nor dominated by anger." Instead, a discerning heart is "patient, gentle and humble…tested…full of concern, and a lover of souls."
As I read this passage, I realized that better words could not be chosen to describe Naomi - a discerning mother, with a "God-listening heart."
"The gift of discernment has been somewhat neglected…but it is perhaps the gift that most of all needs to be sought and cultivated, because its exercise is the key to the right use of all the rest."
"Daughter's of Naomi Prayer For Discernment"
Based on I Kings 3
"You have shown to Your daughter Naomi, great mercy and loving-kindness, according as she walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and uprightness of heart. You have kept her with great kindness and steadfast love. Now, O Lord our God, You have made Your daughter______, part of Your royal family. I lack so much. I am young and without wisdom and experience. I don't know how to go out or come in without losing my way. So give Your daughter _______, an understanding mind and a hearing heart, that I may discern between good and bad."
I Kings 3, Adapted
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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