Naomi had a lot to worry about. After her husband and both of her sons died in a foreign land, Naomi trudged back to her native land with one of her son’s widows, Ruth. When she returned to her home in Bethlehem, hardly anyone recognized her, so great was her grief and depression. When she identified herself, she explained:Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me(Ruth 1:20-21 NASB)?
Naomi was correct in identifying God’s hand upon her. She recognized His sovereignty, but didn’t trust Him. She couldn’t look at her trials and tribulations, thinking: It’s all about God. All she could think was: It’s all about me And it isn’t pretty. Look what God has done to me.
God had every intention of providing for her, but her gloomy outlook, focusing only on the difficulties, clouded by the snowstorm of deep grief, allowed her trust to be overcast by worry. The forecast certainly didn’t look sunny. Only snow and rain were predicted in her future.
However, in the end, Naomi did recognize God’s provision. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, married a rich relative named Boaz, and soon Naomi was blessed with a grandson.
Her story finishes with this forecast of hope: Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’ Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi!’ So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David(Ruth 4:14-17 NASB).
Naomi’s story shows us both God’s sovereignty and His faithfulness. He didn’t give up on Naomi, even though she was defeated and blind to His love for her. Naomi turned back to the Lord. In that, we want to be just like her, and we can be.