|Prem Kumar Marni (CC)|
She was a great woman, sure. Sticking with her mother-in-law when she could have split. But to name the whole book after her?
Naomi gets tragically overshadowed in the conversation of great biblical heroines. In the midst of extreme loss, and a life sentence to poverty she remained surprisingly graceful, living up to her namesake, Naomi—Hebrew for “pleasant.”
I don’t know about you, but if I lost my spouse and two sons I don’t think I’d be very pleasant.
Without men in her life to take care of her, a woman in Old Testament times was doomed. Thus the repeated emphasis in the Bible to care for orphans and widows (Isa. 1:17 et al.). So when Naomi lost her husband and her only two sons while living in a foreign land, things couldn’t really have gotten much worse.
Nevertheless, Naomi had an attitude we all would do well to emulate: selflessness.
Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Ruth 1:8-9
Despite the tragedy in her life, Naomi wasn’t thinking about herself. She urged her daughters-in-law to leave her so that they might rebuild their lives. Ruth, of course, stubbornly clung to Naomi and returned with her to Judah, ultimately wedding Boaz, the great-grandfather of David.
But were it not for the lesson in selflessness Naomi demonstrated, would Ruth have stuck around? Maybe, maybe not.
Either way, if tragedy strikes my life I hope to be half as selfless as Naomi.
Because of her grace and altruism, Naomi helped bring about prosperity for herself and for Ruth. God showed up in a big way, making provision for these two women.
If you'd like to see God do big things in your life, check out this article I wrote called How One Simple Mindset Shift Will Revolutionize Your Life. It's free, just tell me where to send it:
The article's not a band-aid fix for your problems, but rather a way to approach every moment expecting God to intervene. Check it out, and let me know what you think!