Women in the Bible: Naomi
God Takes Away Naomi’s Bitterness Over Losing Her Husband and Her Sons
Naomi means pleasant. She, her husband, and their two sons leave their home country and travel to Moab because of a famine. While in Moab, her husband dies, leaving her a widow. Later both of her sons die, too, leaving her with two widowed daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi blames God for her misfortune and grows bitter.
She decides to return home when she hears they have food. Orpah and Ruth start back with her. At Naomi’s urging Orpah decides to remain in Moab, but Ruth expresses deep commitment to her mother-in-law and to God, promising to stay with her forever.
Soon after they return to Israel, Naomi develops a plan for Ruth to marry their relative, Boaz. They get married and Ruth has her first child, Obed. Naomi cares for Obed like a son, as the local women celebrate the baby and Naomi’s good fortune.
Like all of us, Naomi’s life contains struggle and disappointment, but God cares for her, providing a loyal daughter-in-law and a cherished grandson.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.