Summary: How did Naomi do as a mother in the book of Ruth? What lessons can we learn from her example?

Mother’s day - taking a look at the book of Ruth with particular attention to Naomi

The days of the Judges - Judges 17:6 - “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Pagan idol worship

Famine in the land

Elimelech took his wife Naomi and their two sons from Bethlehem in Judah to Moab

Women were considered to be an incomplete person without a man at that time in that culture

Elimilech died and Naomi was left with two unmarried sons - she was the mom but the sons still outranked her by virtue of their gender

They married Moabite women and about 10 years later the sons died

Three widows - Naomi heard about the Lord blessing the land of Judah with rain and crops - they started back - but Naomi stopped them and released them from any obligation to her

Naomi - versus - Mara / pleasant - versus - bitter

Ruth 1:20-21

“Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.

Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

They arrive just as the barley harvest is beginning - which was a few weeks before the wheat harvest would begin


(What can we observe about Naomi’s life?)

Naomi followed her husband, the father of their sons to Moab

Naomi decided to return to Judah when she heard that the Lord had blessed the land with rain and crops

Naomi gave unwise advice in advising Orpah and Ruth to return to their home and to their gods


(What can we learn from Naomi’s actions?)

Faithfulness and honoring her husband, the father of their sons

Faithfulness to your husband is an awesome example to your children and visa versa

Your children should never hear you cutting each other down or belittling each other in any way

Ruth 1:6

“When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of His people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.”

Naomi hearing of the Lord blessing the land of Judah was prevenient grace

Grace always entails a choice

Grace - the Holy Spirit quickening you to some truth that requires action - Bible, sermon, faithful Christian friend

Naomi made a wise choice to return to Judah

Naomi gave unwise advice in advising Orpah and Ruth to return to their home and to their gods

Naomi was a source of prevenient grace to Orpah and Ruth

Naomi was a source of confusion to Orpah and Ruth

Mothers (and Fathers) are not always consistent and sometimes make mistakes

Children are responsible for making their own spiritual decisions

Two polar decisions were made based on the same advice

If you have made mistakes in advising your children on spiritual matters

Admit it to yourself, to God and to your children

Ask for forgiveness from God, your children and forgive


In as much as possible give good, Biblically sound spiritual

advice to your children from that point on

Ruth 1:22

“So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.”

Naomi’s immediate response to God’s prevenient grace enabled the working out of the perfection of the Lord’s timing; “as the barley harvest was beginning.”

God had put laws into place decades before that established the proper treatment of foreigners gathering grain in the time of harvest

The beginning of the barley harvest was at the very onset of the entire time of harvesting grain - the wheat harvest would happen a few weeks later

God had put laws into place decades before that provided for the marriage of and provision for a childless widow

It may all seem random to us a the time that everything is taking place but we have a God who is watching over His children

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”



Naomi thought God was against her but He was actually working things out in order to bring her back to the promised land and continue the lineage of Elimelech and eventually the Messiah.

It is OK to misunderstand God but once you see the end and do understand what He was up to then correct your thinking and move on.

God will sometimes work things out in ways we could never imagine.

We as parents, fathers and mothers will make mistakes!

If we have discovered those mistakes by the grace of God, if we have confronted those mistakes and repented of them by the grace of God, then they are in the past. We can mark a point in our lives where we will say, “Today is a new day! From now in it will be different. I now know what God wants in this situation and from this day forward I will live in obedience to His will by His grace!”

Rehab and Ruth ~ Will you do that today?

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