“Naomi” means “winsome.” My youngest child is named Naomi after this biblical figure. Naomi’s mom and I gave her that name because we hoped her life would embody the biblical Naomi’s strength and leadership. Naomi is the one who appears to be orchestrating the events of the story in the book of Ruth. In fact, I think the book should be titled “Ruth and Naomi” since Naomi plays a central role in moving the story forward.
Naomi was wise as well as cunning. Her relationship with God was strained, but it was honest. She didn’t pretend to be anyone other than who she was. She was a commanding figure, scheming to have Ruth and Boaz married, which brought about the birth of Obed, who became the father of Jesse, who was the father of the great King David.
In everything, Naomi was faithful. She did her best with what she had, given her circumstances.
When I think of my daughter and how I hope her life will unfold, she can do worse than Naomi as a guide. And I think all of us can learn from Naomi’s life and faithfulness.
Holy God, may we be inspired by the faithfulness and strength of Naomi. Amen. — KP