Updated: May 21
"Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons." Ruth 1:3
There was a famine in the land so Elimelech took his wife and two sons from Bethlehem, Judah and went to dwell in the country of Moab. It is not said if God had given Elimelech direction to leave but in doing so, he died, leaving Naomi and his sons, Mahlon and Chilion alone. Shortly after arriving in Moab the two boys married Moabite women, their names being Orpah and Ruth. During their ten year stay both of Naomi's sons died.
Naomi strove to live a life dedicated to God but felt He had dealt harshly with her and was trying to make her way back to her home in Israel. She believed that her life had been disappointing, but her faith was intact. She insisted that her daughters-in-law should return to their mothers' homes. Orpah, giving in, return to her home but Ruth vowed to stay with Naomi. The words of Ruth to Naomi recorded in scripture and shown here below are often recited at weddings.
"And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee,
Or to return from. following after thee:
For whither thou goest, I will go;
And where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
Thy people shall be my people,
And thy God my God" Ruth 1:16
Naomi learned that even in the midst of great suffering and adversity, God is good and full of mercy. On arriving to her homeland, Naomi wisely introduced Ruth to her new way of life and proper behavior for a Judahite woman, eventually making plans for Ruth to meet Boaz, a cousin of Elimelech.
Naomi models the way God works through a woman who moves forward, even in the midst of tragedy and trial, actively seizing every opportunity God provides rather than waiting passively for events to happen, all while resting in God's perfect care. Eventually Boaz agreed to act as kinsman-redeemer by Jewish law, buying Naomi's estate and marrying Ruth. God's blessings fell on their home in giving them a son, Obed, who would be the grandfather of King David and of the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.
Naomi acknowledged God's working in her life even though at times she blamed Him for her tragedies and the emptiness she felt. He replaced her sorrow with a daughter-in-law that honored her and would not leave her side and ultimately gave her a grandson who is in the lineage of our Messiah. We get to witness what happens in a life of someone who so struggles with bitterness that it is hard to see the good and positive plans God was working. Throughout the book of Ruth we see Naomi grow into a woman of deep faith and wisdom. The results which shines bright throughout scripture. The commitment between these two ladies is a doorway for the blessings of heaven to be showered upon them both.
"Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." Ruth 4:14,15
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for leaving us a message through Naomi that shows us how You are working in and around us to bring Your will to life. Help us to read and study Your Word so that when we face trials of our own we will know how to respond to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.