Naomi's Counsel

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.