Once each year there is a recognized day that all honor and call “Mother’s Day.” It is a day when the “fairer sex” mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters (who are mothers) are honored for the work of being a mother. A female is truly honored when she is loved and cared for, just as she has given her love and cared for the children (including the husband) in the home.
In a recent study I have been doing from the book of Ruth I have taken particular notice of Naomi. Naomi was the mother-in-law to Ruth, a woman of Moab. Naomi suffered devastation in her life that, in so far as I am aware, not a single one of us have experienced. Her husband and sons died, and now there was only her and her two daughters-in-law. She was on the verge of complete devastation. (The males in Israelite society took care of the females; when there was no male in the family it was the female who lived a destitute life.) This is what Naomi had in front of her as she prepared to make her way from the land of Moab back toward Israel. To complicate the matter before her, she now had two daughters-in-law for which she felt some obligation.
We know the story, but Naomi did not know, at all, what she was going to do; but once she determined to do it, with a heavy heart she set out back to her homeland.
The story in the book of Ruth is not about Naomi, but she is a prominent character who plays a significant role in the life of her daughter-in-law, Ruth. If it were not for the quality of person that Naomi was, to what would Ruth have attached (cf. Ruth 1:16-17)?
There are some lessons to think about along this line. First, Naomi heritage was crucial because it was this heritage that taught her about the one true God. Though she felt the hand of the Lord was against her (Ruth 1:13), in truth, it was the Lord who saw to her well-being. Second, that heritage in which she was brought up taught her values that allowed a young lady (Ruth) to attach when her own heritage was nothing but that which was connected to idolatry and emptiness. Third, it was the counsel of Naomi that encouraged Ruth to commit herself to doing what needed to be done by such a vulnerable young woman. Ruth was devoted to her mother-in-law and she was determined to take care of her, but it was Naomi that gave her the counsel and wisdom to know where to go when she had to move. Good lessons to learn whether are not anyone of us is a mother.