5 Lessons from the Life of Naomi

The book of Ruth tells us a tale of love and respect between two women from vastly different worlds; Naomi and her daughter in-law, Ruth. Naomi was an Israelite woman who married Elimelech and birthed two sons; Mahlon and Chilion. They all left Bethlehem for Moab and lived there for more than ten years. After a short while, her husband died and then her two sons. Those years were filled with grief and sorrow. She was alone and so were the women whom her sons were married to; Ruth and Oprah.

Alone and destitute in Moab, Naomi made a decision to return to her people in Bethlehem. She told her two daughters in-law to return to their mother's house. Oprah returned but Ruth committed to staying with her mother-in-law despite the death of her husband. (Ruth 1:16) She remained faithful to Naomi, demonstrated an impeccable work ethic, and maintained fidelity. Naomi went out of Bethlehem but returned empty. She told those who greeted her upon her return not to call her Naomi anymore, but ' mara' which means bitter...(Ruth 1:20) 

In Naomi's life journey, she exhibited so much strength and resilience and a few lessons have been learnt from her story. 

1. Keep the faith in God's promises 

Sometimes we can feel abandoned by God when tragedy strikes, it might be extremely difficult to see God at work , but Naomi's story shows that even when we do not know how things will end up, God can be trusted. Naomi recognized the sovereignty of God in the midst of her grief, she saw God's hand. Not that it made sense to her but she knew that he was in it somewhere. She never wavered in her faith even after experiencing the death of her husband and her two sons.

No matter how long we wait, our faith in God is not in vain. Although traumatized and near despair ,yet she knew that God was with her, even when it seemed like everything was falling apart. This reminds us that even when we feel that we have lost everything, we should hold our faith in God. 

Even when we cannot see the results right away, we can still trust that God is faithful to his word. 

God is the only one who knows everything and how all the trials and events of our lives will fit into his plans. 

2. God works through unlikely people and situations to accomplish his will

In Naomi's story, Ruth who was a foreigner ,ended up playing a significant role in God's plan for her. Ruth highlights the importance of family even though she was not biologically related to Naomi. She remained loyal to her throughout all their trials. 

There was love and understanding between them; Naomi is seen playing the role of a leading mentor and Ruth remains humble and accepts the position of Naomi's caregiver.

As an elderly person, Naomi could not do much physical work since she was grief stricken over the death of her husband . Ruth took it upon herself to care and look after her aging mother-in-law .If Ruth wanted to, she could have left Naomi to fend for herself . However she did not take that course of action and was a companion and helper to her throughout her old age . 

We can never be busy getting on with our own lives that we cannot reach out and help others in need. 

This is why God positions people in our lives to help accomplish his will . This shows that no one is insignificant in God's eyes and that he can use anyone to accomplish his purpose..

3. God's timing is perfect

It seemed like Naomi had to wait for a very long time before things started to work out for her, but in God's perfect timing , everything came together for her good. Her life story changed from ' Bitter ' to Blessed. God's blessings was upon Naomi through Ruth, and she bore her a grandchild and this blessing sustained her through old age. God provided for both Naomi and Ruth and the years that cankerworm had eaten was been restored.

God has a plan and purpose for everything that happens and that even if it seems like it's not happening at all, or if it is taking a long time , it's because God has it well laid out in his perfect timing. In the Bible ,2 Peter 3:8 says ' A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or Luke a watch in the night '. So God's timing does not match up with our human understanding of time .

4. God redeems the lost ; when life seems hopeless, there's always a possibility for redemption and restoration .

This demonstrated in Naomi's story, as she was able to start over again and find happiness after losing everything . She thought her family line had ended but God continues it through a Boaz, her kinsman. She gains a son and so much more at the end .

This teaches us that even when we have reached a dead end and cannot see anything good come out of our circumstances , Naomi's story reminds us that God is working out redemption always.

Like Naomi, no matter how bleak life seems now, we too may look back and be surprised to see where and how God was working all along . 

And also God's choice to include Ruth in the story of divine redemption shows that his grace is for everyone , and that nobody is too insignificant.

5. Navigate through life's difficult circumstances with perseverance.

Naomi perserved through the loss of her husband and her sons, and also perserved in her difficult journey back to Bethlehem . She had to start over and build a new life. Even though she was a widow, she found the strength to keep going . She was persistent in finding food for herself and Ruth and she didn't give up when things were hard. This showed her strength and determination.

How can we persevere as children of God through life's difficulty?

1. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot control.

2. Take things one step at a time and don't get overwhelmed by the big picture.

3. Surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage you, just like Naomi did. 

If Naomi had held the pen by which her story would be written, it would have ended in tragedy but God stepped in and instead of bitterness, it ended in Blessings . Naomi has so much to teach us about living a life that honors God. she wasn't perfect , but she obviously had faith in her God that Ruth recognized and wanted for herself.

You can trust God even in the most severe losses in your life because he would take care of every important detail. While journeying through life , we should maintain an attitude of faith and expectation. God promises us a better day, joy will come in the morning . 

These are lessons that we can all take to heart and apply to our own lives. 

She paved a way for Ruth to be redeemed , by getting her married to Boaz, and in the process allows God to redeem her family line. 

We must trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ, our redeemer . 

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