Bible Study on Naomi:
Having Hope Through the Famines of Life 

And Naomi said, "I went out full, but the Lord has brought me home again empty." ~Ruth 1:21 (AMP) 

Naomi Bible Study-Ruth and Naomi Hugging

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 Naomi's life.

Though she felt abandoned, He had in no way forsaken her.  In all of her darkenss, God had left Naomi a ray of hope.

This 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 driest seasons.

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 husband, Elimelech.  

Now, Naomi was a widow.  She was miles away from any family, and was left with two sons to raise - Mahlon and Kilion.

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 so 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.Bible study on Naomi - Orpah is leaving but Ruth is Clinging to Naomi

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 gods. 

...Go, return each of you to her mother's house.
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 not.

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 a hope.

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 darkness.
Bible Study on Naomi - Ruth and Naomi in the Field
We are pressed on every side
by 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 daughter-in-law remarried?

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.


Virtuous Women in the Bible
Lesson 3: Bible Study on Naomi
Having Hope Through the Famines of Life

  1. 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)?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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 God?

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 the Bible.

Virtuous Women in the Bible

Lesson 1: From Sarai to Sarah - A Woman's Journey to Faith
Lesson 2: Mary Bible study - Be it unto me 
Lesson 3: Bible Study on Naomi -  Hope Through the Famines of Life

Finished with your Virtuous Women in the Bible Study on Naomi?
Click here to select your next topical Bible Study.

Bible study divider

How To Walk and Live
In the Spirit

Controlling Your Thoughts Audio Bible Study

Receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit and learn how to experience more of Him in your daily life...

Bible study divider

How to Develop Intimacy With God

Itimacy With God Audio Bible Study

Discover how to develop the intimacy with God your heart is crying for...

Vessels In Pursuit!
You're A V.I.P. To Me!
Bible Study Online VIP Corner
  • Free Subscription to The Hem eDevotional
  • Free 4 Part Audio Series on How to Connet With God!

Get Immediate Access!
Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally safe with me.  I respect your privacy and will never give away or sell your email address.