Naomi was a country woman who found life in her rural hometown increasingly difficult. There was a famine and the economy was bad. Together with her husband and two sons she relocated to greener pastures, far away, in the land of Moab. At first life was beautiful; they settled in a lovely home, got good jobs and their handsome sons soon attracted two lovely women and got married.
Nevertheless Naomi was a Godly woman, and her heart grieved day by day as she witnessed the godlessness and pagan traditions of the Moabites – worship of pagan gods, sacrifice of their virgin daughters, institutionalization of temple prostitution. It was difficult but she managed to remain unstained by continuing to worship and live for the one true God.
But then, without any warning at all, life dealt her a deadly blow. Her husband died. Before she could recover from that; her sons also died one after the other. Her wealth and relative comfort, no longer brought her joy. The strange land she lived in, offered her no comfort and she decided to go back home. At least there she would be among friends and family who would understand her.
Strangely however, her daughters-in-law, Oprah and Ruth decided to go with her. Even though she was touched, she convinced them otherwise. They were at the risk of leaving their people and going to a strange land, the same mistake she made many years ago. Better they stay were they are and remarry. Oprah took counsel from her but Ruth insisted. Her decision was from her heart and nothing would make her change her mind. She sensed that her destiny was tied with that of Ruth. It took some poetry to help her express the depth of what she really felt in her heart. She looked deep into Naomi’s eyes and said
Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to return from following after you:
For where you go, I will go
and where you live I will live:
Your people will be my people,
and your God my God:
Wonderful story. But there is one Big Question – What could make a young widow with no children, take a decision to leave her homeland and all she holds dear to accompany an aging mother in law to re-settle in a strange land; to embrace the woman’s people whom she had never seen before and to embrace the woman’s God????
There could be only one answer – Naomi must have been a picture of the one true God. Naomi must have lived a pure life that revealed the goodness, power and glory of God to all those who were close to her.
Remember that song?
God, Let my life be a picture of You
Let my life be a picture of You
Let it be a letter written by your hand
For the world to see and to know
That you are, living in me
And this is a great challenge for Christians of this generation. It is common knowledge that many times we have to introduce ourselves as born again Christians; and even then people wonder if we truly are. Actions speak louder than words. It is sometimes easier to blend with the practises in our environment, families and organisations rather than stand up for what we know is true.
May God help us to become a true light that men would see and give glory to God. May our lives make others desire to live for God alone.
P.s. I was fascinated with the picture above which i got from the net. I think it depicts the union first between God and Naomi and then also between Naomi and Ruth. I got it from the source below