PROFILE OF NAOMI, A WISE COUNSELOR TO AN EX-DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
Book of Ruth, Chapter 1-4
The story of Naomi has three sections:
- First is the circumstance of three destitute women (Book of Ruth 1:1-22). The situation of these women seems hopeless. They have lost everything, it seems.
- Naomi decides to return to her homeland. The three widows leave Moab. Ruth decides to follow Naomi, while Orpah goes back to her family.
- Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a husband or even the possibility of a husband when they left Moab.
- They understood how the culture of the day viewed widows and women without means. One of them needed a husband (Book of Ruth 2:1-23).
- In the second section, Naomi realizes that Boaz, a rich kinsman, is attracted to Ruth, and is showing his interest to everybody.
- Naomi instructs Ruth on what to do to attract Boaz and settle his interest.
- In the third section, Ruth and Boaz marry, and Naomi at last has a grandson.
The importance of family is expressed by this story. The generational support also is made clear. Here an ex-mother-in-law and an ex-daughter-in-law remain together and take care of each other. Naomi had become bitter due to the death of her husband and two sons. She had only daughters-in-law who also had to face the loss of husbands.
This story teaches us to stay hopeful even when life seems to bring nothing but misfortune. Naomi was old, grief-stricken, poor and far from home, but she held on to her courage.