Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.'
The great story of Naomi and Ruth focuses on two noble heroines: an ancient tale of girl-power through God. But Naomi was the senior player, a wife and mother who suffered big loss. Here's the gist:
Israel was in the midst of a drought. Naomi's husband moved them to Moab, a neighboring, idolatrous nation; a sometimes enemy of Israel. Their two sons chose to marry foreign wives.
Then disaster hit all three ladies hard. Naomi's husband died, as did both sons. The women were left without provision, so Naomi sent her sons' wives back home. (Ruth refused, but that's another story).
When Naomi returned to Israel, her heart was broken; her purse was empty. She seemed the opposite of a hero. Yet her name would become known forever, as the mother-in-law of lovely Ruth and a grandmother in the line of Christ.
Consider just two things Naomi did that set her up as a star in God's Book:
1) In a foreign land with foreign customs, Naomi represented God so well (with kindness, faithfulness and selflessness) that Ruth was willing to leave her homeland to follow Naomi and her unseen God.
2) Naomi shared a savvy strategy to help her beloved Ruth marry well, and the plan was a match made in Heaven. From there, Naomi gained more than she had lost and we gained an example to cherish.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.