Naomi (meaning pleasant) was from Bethlehem, in Judah, but moved to Moab temporarily with her husband, Elimelek, and her sons, Mahlon and Kilion, in order to escape famine. She lost her husband, and her two sons married Moabite women. They lived in Moab for ten years, until Naomi‘s sons died too. Widowed and grieving the loss of her children, Naomi learned that God was providing aid to the land of Judah once again. She decided to return to her home. Naomi spoke a blessing over her daughters in law, Ruth and Orphah, and she said emotional goodbyes, sending them to return to their homes in Moab. Orphah returned to her home, but Ruth, in an act of great love and loyalty, refused to leave Naomi’s side. The two women journeyed back to Bethlehem, and there was a great commotion about Naomi’s return. When the women of the town said, “Can this be Naomi?” Naomi replies, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.”
Naomi looked out for Ruth and made arrangements for her to work safely in the field of a family member, Boaz, who later married Ruth, and they had a son, Obed. Great joy and restoration came to Naomi, and her family grew and was blessed.
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