Discipleship Minute: Judges #3

Read Ruth 1:6-9, 16-17; 2:2-12; 4:9-17

If you remember the Four Spiritual Laws tract, the first law states that “God Loves You and Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life.” I wonder if Naomi was considering that principle as she returned to Bethlehem. She and her family had left Israel some years before because of famine during the time of the judges. While in Moab, her husband and two sons had died, leaving her and her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, with no visible means of support. Naomi decided that the best thing to do was to bid the two women good-bye and head back home because the famine had ended.

Orpah dutifully follows Naomi’s wishes and leaves, thus fading from history. Ruth, however, implores Naomi to allow her to stay. Not only does she promise to stay with Naomi, but she will completely change her life and even her religion and stay with Naomi for the rest of her life. When Naomi and Ruth return home, Naomi was not thinking in terms of a wonderful plan from God. The two women were thinking more about a plan for daily survival.

Daily survival required food and Ruth set about picking up grain left behind by harvesters in the field. Fortunately, this field belonged to a distant relative, Boaz, who showed the woman from Moab favor based on her loving treatment of Naomi. The two women began to envision Boaz as the solution to their problem by prevailing on him to take over the assets owned by Naomi’s deceased husband and become what was known as the kinsman redeemer, and thus securing their future. Boaz agrees to this plan and marries Ruth.

We may be tempted to think that someone was making plans in this account, whether it was Naomi, Ruth, or Boaz. But, in reality, God was the one who was using the circumstances and choices of people for His ends. The author fills in the details at the end, making a sort of “they lived happily ever after” statement by saying that Boaz and Ruth’s child, Obed, was the grandfather of King David. Ultimately, Boaz, Ruth, and David had a distant descendent, Jesus, who was our Savior. It is interesting how a woman from a foreign country and a convert to Judaism fit into not only the history of Israel, but into our redemptive history as well.

Are you in the midst of circumstances which seem to be insurmountable? God does love you. He does have a plan for your life. That plan may use those circumstances to shape and mold you to become a better follower of Jesus Christ. Pray and seek God’s direction today. Allow God to direct your path toward His goals and plans.

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