As Naomi’s husband led her and their sons to a foreign country, I wonder how deep her seeds of faith were sown. How did she feel?
I’m not sure
There was a famine in the land so maybe she was relieved. It must have been stressful wondering if her children’s needs would be met every day. Perhaps she shed tears of relief and soaked in God’s comfort as she trusted him to provide.
It was during the time of the judges, so maybe she was complacent. If the consensus was “do what feels good”, perhaps she told other women in her community how satisfied she was with Elimelech’s decision and expressed assurance that the others would find a right path for them too.
Maybe she was afraid that Elimelech wasn’t depending on God’s direction. Perhaps she felt doom hanging over her family as they left the Promised Land.
One thing I do know.
She carried seeds of faith to Moab. While there, her family grew to include two Moabite daughter-in-laws. Her faith was evident enough for Ruth to be drawn away from her gods to the God of Israel.
Returning to Naomi’s homeland as destitute widows, the elderly woman changed her name to “bitter” while Ruth, the Moabite, professed faithfulness to her new God. As Naomi announced her misfortune, Ruth opened her mind to what she could “glean” from the Promise Land. Naomi’s mind temporarily dulled. But, because she had previously trusted God for comfort, seeds of that faith were sown in Ruth’s life. So, when Naomi’s faith faltered, her daughter-in-law was able to help her.
What goes around comes around:
Words that were written centuries later were already playing out in Naomi’s life.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” II Corinthians 1:4
We do reap what we sow. Sow seeds of faith today. And tomorrow. And the next.