Naomi goes beyond being a great mother; she was a great a mother-in-law. According to the popularity of mother-in-law jokes, how rare is that? Her story is told within the book of Ruth in the Old Testament, just four short chapters. But what a big story!
Naomi means “my delight” but when the story opens she wasn’t living up to her name. Several severe tragedies brought her to a place where she said of herself; “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara(“bitter”) for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20).
Yes, her husband and sons were dead and she lived in an alien land without resources but her daughters-in-law clung to her when they were about to lose her. She graciously released them from any obligation to her as she prepared to journey back to Israel.
One of them, Ruth, would have none of it. She said to Naomi; “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you” (Ruth 1:16). So it was that the two women traveled back to Naomi’s country in hopes of a better life. God’s sovereign plan was at work to bless both of them. In the end of her life, Naomi lived up to what her name implied: delight.
Did you know that Naomi was the great-great grandmother of King David who is the ancestor of Jesus Christ? If you are a mother-in-law, be one like Naomi. How do you know what God may have planned for your future generations?