Summary: Seeing God in the Ordinary: God is Always Working for our Good and His Glory
Seeing God in the Ordinary:
God is Always Working for our Good and His Glory
One of the reasons the book of Ruth comes after the book of Judges is to demonstrate that God is always working on our behalf, even in the worst of times. All the twists and turns in our lives are not dead ends but doorways to better things. The life of a follower of Christ is not a straight line to glory but is filled with twists and turns, yet we do get there. Our lives are not a straight shot from here to Soldotna but they are more like the Alcan filled with twists and turns, mountains and valleys, pot holes and even car problems. Through it all God is always plotting for our joy. Surely goodness and mercy pursues us all the days of our lives (Ps 23:6).
1. My life is bound up in God’s goodness
We saw in chapter one Naomi and her husband went to Moab because of a famine. There her husband dies. Then her two sons marry Moabite women and after ten years both women are barren and without child. Both sons die leaving their widows and Naomi without any means of support. Chapter one ends with Naomi bitter.
Chapter two offers us a ray of hope with the appearance of Boaz. We see the hand of God when Ruth ‘happens’ upon the field of Boaz. Boaz shows her favor but does not initiate a marriage proposal. So we leave that scene with a feeling of uncertainty.
Chapter three finds Naomi and Ruth plotting a risky move that is shrouded in darkness. At the threshing floor Ruth asks Boaz to spread his wings over her as a husband. But again we are left with a sense of uncertainty as there is another redeemer closer to Ruth. Boaz, being a man of integrity, gives him the first shot at Ruth.
Chapter four opens with Boaz giving the closer redeemer the option of first, the land, and then Ruth. We gasp when the redeemer says yes to the land but then cheer when Boaz mentions that Ruth goes with the land and the man rejects the offer. So Boaz gets Ruth, but remember, from chapter one we saw that she was barren. The best is yet to come. In verse 13 we find that Ruth is pregnant as the result of the prayer of the elders and the people at the gate (12). The next scene, verses 14-17, shifts away from Boaz and Ruth to Naomi. The story began with tragedy and loss but ends with triumph and gain because the best is yet to come. Faith is what gets us from tragedy to triumph. It is faith in God’s goodness that will sustain us in the midst of trials, difficulty, and loss. We need to remember that God is still on the throne, he is still in control and he is plotting for our good.
The baby is given, not to Ruth, but to Naomi. Why? We have no precedent in the bible for this act. The women (the same women to greet her when she entered Bethlehem) give the baby to Naomi to show what she said is not true. God has not made her bitter; her complaint proves untrue. In every loss, even at the hand of God, God is plotting for your gain. Your short term loss is preparing you for God’s long term gain in your life.
2. My Story is bound up in Gods Story
Then the movie camera lifts our eyes up from this intimate scene of Naomi with the newborn in her lap so we can see the backdrop (17) to see that God is not only plotting for the joy and blessing of these seemingly insignificant few Jews in Bethlehem but he is plotting for a greater king that Israel would have, David. This story of the lives of three seemingly insignificant Jews points to the story of King David. King David points to the story of King Jesus and King Jesus points to the story of the gospel of the Kingdom. The author wants us to look beyond being captivated by the story to being captivated by God. When we started Ruth I said that the main actor was God; the story is about God. This story tells us that God is completely committed to his people because he is completely committed to his story. Our lives are bound up with God’s story. What he is doing in our lives today influences and affects the outcome of his story. Everything we do in obedience to God, no matter how small, is significant and has an impact on God’s story. The ordinary events of our lives are connected to eternity.