- Naomi was the wife of Elimelech, a man from Bethelem,Judah; who dwelt in Moab. Since there was famine in the land, they had moved to Moab. She had two sons Mahlon and Chilion and daughter in laws’- Orpahand Ruth.
- Book of Ruth begins with a terrible tragedy of Naomi and her daughter in laws losing their husbands and standing in a foreign land as three helpless widows
- She urges her daughter in laws’ go back to their parents. Orpah kissed Naomi and left but Ruth clung to her.
- In this story, we see how God graciously restoresa woman who was filled with bitterness to a joyful person.
Lessons from the life of Naomi.
- Naomi treated her daughter in law’sas her daughters.
We often hear a lot of storiesof misunderstandings, fights andheated arguments between mother in laws and daughter in laws.Here we see a different story which is very rare. Naomi treats her daughter in laws as her daughters. Even when things went bitter and Naomi faced lot of trails, she was kind to her daughter in laws. When she lost her husband and son, she didn’t treat them differently instead she wanted them to be happy and move on with their lives. We see more of a motherly nature in Naomi and may be because of this nature Ruth didn’t want to leave her. This was a very big gift for Naomi. When things continuously are not in favour, it is common for people to be bitter and selfish and think about themselves, but Naomi’s motherly character and her care for her daughter in laws gave her a beautiful gift –Ruth.
2. Naomi’s special love for Ruth.
Ruthwas very strong in staying with Naomi. In Chapter 1:17 she says “Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” Naomi’s love for Ruth grew day by day, when Ruth tells about Boaz and her interest in gleaning the grains, we see in chapter 2 how Naomi guides Ruth in the matter of Boaz and how she thinks good for her life and future. It is this special Naomi’s love for Ruth that always desired good for Ruth and guided her in everything.
3. Naomi accepted Obed as her grandson and happily nursed him.
Generally, we live in days where grandparents are not tokeen to sacrificially care and spendtheir time with their grandchildren. In Naomi’s case, God was so gracious to her and restored her bitter days into joyful days by blessing a grandson – Obed. Ruth 4:16 says, she joyfully took the child and nursed him as if her own son’s child. In those days it would be difficult for people to accept someone’s child as their own, but we don’t see that nature in Naomi, she had some godly traits and accepted the child as her own.
4. Naomi didn’t go far away from God or forsake him during her trail time.
Humanly we all fail God when we face trails. We murmur, grumbleand disappoint God. Naomi also did the same when she faced trails. But what is important is when we truly know God, we will never despise him or forsake him/reject him. Though Naomi grumbled, murmured she didn’t reject God.
- Naomi turned bitter unto God.
Turning bitter is a very difficult state of mind and that too towards God it is the worst thing we can do. We become bitter unto God when we see only our present situation and forget to count what God has done in our lives. Naomi was going through trails one after the other and she was just seeing her present situation and she failed to remember her blessings from God. This is very common thing for all of us to do, we must be connected to God always and be grateful to him for everything that he allows in our life.
2. During tough times she wanted to leave her homeland and when everything seemed good, she wanted to return.
During times of tough times of famine, family decided to move away from the promised land and go to a pagan country Moab and marry pagan women. Naomi would have also played her role in this decision. We also notice when things were fine, she returned to the land of Judah when she heard that the Lord had visited his people.
- When God brings certain relationships in our life. We must be kind and faithfulin those relationships whatever we face. We must always regard them God appointed relationships in his providence. Naomi was faithful till the end
- We must be well connected to God. Not just in happy times or tough times but all the time, we must be ever grateful to him for all he has done, only then we will not turn bitter towards God.
- We must pray for godly wisdom to direct and guide our loved ones in the correct way, just as Naomi did to Ruth.
- We must stay in the place where God has put us no matter what, because God can use us as a testimony in that place to change the lives of others. We must not drift and move when the grassis greener on the other side