Updated: Feb 3
I had an aunt named Naomi Zarfos. She was the wife of my mother’s brother, and they lived in the area of Red Lion, PA, about 2 hours away from our little town in PA. When I was young, I thought Naomi was an odd name! I’m not sure why, but to me NAOMI seemed like a difficult name to pronounce! “Aunt Naomi” didn’t slide out of my mouth easily…and she was even a kind and pleasant aunt! Much later in life I met and formed a friendship with a woman who had a young daughter named Naomi; that’s when I grew to appreciate the name! I now consider "Naomi" to be one of the most beautiful names of the women mentioned in the Bible.
1000 – 1200 years before the birth of Christ there lived in Bethlehem, a woman named Naomi. Naomi was an Israelite woman from the city of Bethlehem of Judah, and it is through Naomi (her sons) that the woman RUTH is introduced in the Bible. Today, over 3200 years later, I started reading and studying this story of RUTH, the Moabite woman and her mother-in-law Naomi! I won’t be able to share all the details, as I progress through the book of Ruth, but perhaps I will share a few highlights. (I’ve only read the first chapter and already have 3 pages of notes!)
I’ve read the book of Ruth many times before, but this time is different; I am different! Not only do I have a different and deeper relationship with God as I read this time around, but lately I've found the time required to read and study as I'd like. I’m excited that I can indulge my love of history, maps, cultures and people as I read! I admittedly don’t remember all the specifics of this story in the Bible, so today’s reading left me with a few questions and thoughts. I wonder, as the first chapter closes, if Naomi is angry and bitter against God?
As it's chronicled, Naomi lost her husband and her only two sons by this time, and was living in an area about 7-10 days travel time away from her home. Probably sufficient enough reason to understand why a woman may grow bitter toward God!
I will be interested to see how Naomi proceeds through her life with this attitude toward God. It’s exciting for me to anticipate, then see what God teaches through His Word! I love how we can read a portion of the Bible over and over and, if the Holy Spirit is allowed, He can pour out something that is NEW and FRESH every time!
This photo is by international photographer, James C. Lewis. Mr Lewis is an African American artist and a large collection of his work of Biblical characters can be viewed at this link on Pinterest. I think they are extraordinary photos! To me this photo of the character of Naomi is a wonderful representation of what I perceive her to look like (having only read the first chapter). I like to imagine the clothes, colors, facial features, ages, etc. of Biblical characters as I study!
How well do YOU know the story and persons of Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth?
Remember...they were real women, living out real life….3200 years ago!
Follow and share my blog to learn more and better understand the lives and hearts of Naomi and Ruth! I'm also looking forward to learning more!