ALL THINGS will ULTIMATELY work ‘TOGETHER’ for our GOOD
March 19 Bible Reading: Ruth Chapters 1-4
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." (Ruth 4:13-15)
In the midst of the dark ages of the period of Judges, “where everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), we are drawn to the story of one family living in Bethlehem who also followed the norm and did what was right in their own eyes. In fact, their decision to leave Bethlehem (“house of bread”) of Judah (“praise”) and relocate to the foreign Moabite country and live among heathen people had the worst repercussions possible. The father died, the two sons married Moabite women, and then the sons also died soon after. The family was now left with three widows, and what we can see are the unpleasant circumstances and misfortunes that have befallen in that disjointed family through famine, death and despair (Ruth 1:3-5).
The story changes track when the older widow (Naomi) decides to return back to Bethlehem "for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread" (Ruth 1:6). Naomi (pleasant) returned back empty as Mara (bitter) for she had concluded that God had dealt bitterly with her, and His Hand had afflicted (vv. 20-21) and gone out against her (v. 13b). However, we see that God’s Hand was actually working on her favor with her second daughter-in-law (Ruth) sticking to her (like glue) and showing extraordinary kindness to her (1:16-17; 2:11-12).
In the setbacks of her life, God was actually working behind the scenes to connect all the dots and the blips in order to weave out a beautiful story with a happy ending. Soon, the rich landlord (Boaz) showed extraordinary kindness to Ruth by accepting her as his wife (even though she was a foreign widow, see 2:13-14). Boaz may have recalled that he himself was the son of a heathen prostitute (Rahab, see Joshua 2:1; Matt. 1:5), and his father had set an example for him in this process. God had worked in Ruth’s life in a miraculous way (2:20) giving her a second married life that she did not normally deserve. We now see that the Moabitess widow (Ruth) had a prominent place in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ, and became the great grandmother of the famous King David of Israel!
When we examine our own lives, it is possible that when we slice out some phases of our lives so far, we will find bitter experiences and disappointments that will make us wonder what is happening and where we are going. However, we should always remember that God is working behind the scenes to weave everything together in such a manner that they will have a good result and a happy ending. God’s daily provisions in our lives should teach us to trust Him even when we do not know what His ultimate purposes are for our lives. In this context, the only two things for us to remember are that we are called according to His purpose and we love God sincerely by obeying all His commandments!