Bible Study on Naomi:
Having Hope Through the Famines of Life
Naomi said, "I
went out full, but the Lord has brought me home again empty." ~Ruth
Have you ever gone
through a famine in your life?
In this Bible study on Naomi, we will look at how God turned one
woman's famine into a bountiful harvest. We will learn how,
even in her darkest hour, God's plan was working to shine His light on
Though she felt abandoned, He had in no way forsaken her. In all of her darkenss, God had left Naomi a ray of hope.
is the first of two Bible studies on the Book of Ruth. The next
lesson with focus on Ruth herself. But, this Bible study on
Naomi is here to give you hope in your life's
Famines of the Soul
Your Bible study on Naomi begins with a great famine.
It is rather symbolic really, because, like the crops in Bethlehem and
Judah, Naomi had to watch as those around her that she loved and
cherished began to wither and die.
Taken to the strange land of Moab in search of a better life, it was
there that she experienced her first lost. It was her
Now, Naomi was a widow. She was miles away from any
family, and was left with two sons to raise - Mahlon and
Eventually, her boys became men, and took wives of their own from among
the pagans of Moab - Orpah and Ruth.
Though Naomi's story only begins in Ruth 1:1. By
Ruth 1:5, before either of her sons could even bless her with a
grandchild to carry
on their family's lineage, "both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left
Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband" (Ruth 1:5 NLT).
Can you even imagine? She's out in the middle of no where, in
a land of pagans and idol worshipers. And, now, every member
of her family is gone. She feels like she has been left with nothing.
Have you ever felt like that before? Like everything in your
world was crumbling around you. Have you ever known a grief
deep that you felt there was no hope for restoration?
That is how Naomi felt. And Naomi blamed God.
The Lord Himself has raised His
fist against me.- Ruth 1:13b (NLT)
Abandoned By God?
Now the head of her family,
Naomi decided to take her two
daughter-in-laws, and move back to Judah.
She had heard that
the Lord had once again caused Judah to prosper and produce food, and
decided to return to her true home.
But, as they began to travel, Naomi realized that she had nothing left
to offer these young girls. No wealth for them to inherit or
sons for them to marry.
So she pronounced a blessing over
them, and told them to go back to their families, and their
...Go, return each of you to her
May the Lord deal kindly with you,
as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
The Lord grant that you
may find a home and rest,
each in the house of her husband!
Then she kissed them...
-Ruth 1:8-9 (AMP)
After much insisting from Naomi, Orpah agreed to leave, but Ruth did
You see, Naomi was not alone after all. Though she thought
she had been forsaken by all, she did have someone left who loved her,
and refused to leave her side.
Her daughter-in-law Ruth pleaded with her.
Urge me not to leave you or to
turn back from following you;
for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
if anything but death parts me from you.
-Ruth 1:16-17 (AMP)
Regardless of how Naomi may have felt, God had not utterly abandoned
her. In Ruth, He had left her
Though God's plan to restore Naomi was indeed in motion, she herself
could not see it. All she could see was her own pain.
When she arrived back home with her people, she told them,
Call me not Naomi [pleasant];
call me Mara [bitter],
for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full,
but the Lord has brought me home again empty.
-Ruth 1:20-21 (AMP)
But, indeed, Naomi had not returned as empty handed as she had thought.
A Ray of Hope
Sometimes when we are in our darkest hour, all we can see is the
dark. We can not see God at work, shining His light into our
We are pressed on every side
troubles, but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed,
but not driven to despair.
We are hunted down,
but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down,
but we are not destroyed.
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NLT)
God had not abandoned Naomi, and He was not going to let her be
destroyed. God had a plan to restore her and bring her hope.
The beginning of that hope was revealed in Ruth, and it was completed
in a man named Boaz.
Boaz was related to Naomi's husband. Under Jewish law, he was
one of two men who had the right to marry Ruth.
In modern day society, it can be hard for us to understand why this is
significant to Naomi. Why would she care if her
But, under Jewish law, if Boaz married her son's widow, it would
"restore the name of the dead to his inheritance, that the name of
the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from the gate
of his birthplace" (Ruth 4:10 AMP).
Whatever child born to Ruth and Boaz would be considered Naomi's
grandchild, and restore her family's lineage.
And there was indeed a child born.
And the women said to Naomi,
Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not left you this day without a close kinsman,
and may his name be famous in Israel.
And may he be to you a restorer of life
and a nourisher and supporter in your old age,
for your daughter-in-law who loves you,
who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him
...And her neighbor women gave him a name,
saying, A son is born to Naomi.
They named him Obed.
- Ruth 4:14-17 (AMP)
Naomi's grandson was Obed - The grandfather of King
David - The ancestor of Jesus Christ.
God did not leave Naomi empty as she had thought. God used
her to bless the world.
God had a plan, as He always does. His plan was to give Naomi
"beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3).
And, He has a
plan to do the same thing for you.
Women in the
Lesson 3: Bible
Study on Naomi
Through the Famines of Life
- Have you ever felt like everything in your world was
crumbling around you? Have there been times in your life when
you've thought "The
Lord Himself has raised His
fist against me" (Ruth 1:13b NLT)?
- Why do you think that even though Naomi was bringing
Ruth home with her, she felt that she was coming home empty?
What can we learn from her incorrect assumption?
- Why do you think it is significant that Naomi was not
just blessed with a grandson, but an ancestor of Christ? What
does that tell us about what happens when God restores us?
- Based on what you've learned in this Bible study on
Naomi, what legacy would you say that she has left for us as women of
I pray that you have enjoyed this Virtuous Women in the Bible
Study on Naomi. Be on the look out for other Bible lessons on women in
Virtuous Women in