Summary: This is the 3rd study in the study "God Is On The Job". This study looks at how God’s plan is fulfilled.
Do you ever get tired of waiting on God to do something? You know, sometimes it just seems like God needs a little “prodding” or a little help from us. In fact if we have good intentions, it is o.k. to jump in and help God, right? Of course we know the answer to that question is no. God has a plan for each one of us; the problem is He doesn’t work on our schedule. Here is one very good example concerning the fact that God is still in charge and is on the job.
Although God had been taking care of Naomi and her family for a long time, Naomi decided to “speed “ God up a little with a great plan she had come up with. We will see later that Naomi’s plan was not quite as good as she probably thought it was.
Just A Thought
Think of a time when you tried to “speed” God up a little bit. Did the plan seem pretty good at the time? ___________________________After everything was done, was the plan quite so good? ____________________
Plan #1: Naomi’s Plan
It is obvious that Naomi is frustrated because Ruth has not found a husband. Not only was she frustrated but she felt guilty. I’m sure Naomi was blaming herself for what had happened to Ruth so she just wanted to help because she loved her.
I say this to point out the fact that often times we have good intentions for taking over things from God. One of Satan’s tactics for creating difficulties among Christian people is simply distracting us from God’s plan. Satan often times uses things that are not evil to distract us. The simple fact is we must follow God’s plan and this sometimes requires great patience. Let’s look at Naomi’s plan as we watch Ruth do exactly as Naomi told her to.
Naomi was using deceit and trickery as the core of her plan. See she thought in her own mind that if Boaz actually had an interest in Ruth he would have already done something and he had not, so it was time for drastic measures. Naomi told Ruth to wait until he had plenty to drink and eat; and then go lay at his feet. This was a symbol of Ruth humbling herself to Boaz. I also believe it was a symbol of her willingness to have sex with him therefore becoming his wife. Naomi’s plan was for Ruth to come home that morning proclaiming the fact that she and Boaz were married.
Now Boaz did not scold Ruth or embarrass her. Instead he told her what a wonderful woman she was. Her reputation was one of love and sacrifice. The evidence of the fact that Naomi was trying to get Ruth to have sex with Boaz is two-fold. First she told Ruth to wait until he was drunk. The second piece of evidence is found in Boaz’s reaction in verse 14.
Boaz did not want her reputation ruined. He knew that Ruth was just doing what she was told and he let her know that she would be redeemed by someone; but then he also told her not to let anyone else know that she had spent the night there. If anyone found out, she could be accused of prostitution and the punishment for that was death. Naomi had good intentions and was trying to protect and help Ruth but instead she endangered her life, reputation, and future.
Plan #2: God’s Plan
I love the fact that although Naomi implemented her own plan and it was almost a disaster, God still provided for them. Although we are disobedient to God’s plan, He still provides for us and even goes a step farther. Not only did God provide more food for Naomi and Ruth, but He also fixed Naomi’s bad decision. God loves us so much and want us to be successful that He just goes behind us and fixes our mistakes. Now don’t get me wrong, God does punish His children when they mess up. We are told that God punishes those whom He loves, but we are also told that God can take bad situations and use them for good.
As I read the last verse in this chapter, it makes me laugh. Naomi has been planning and scheming all this time and now that God has taken care of her mess she tells Ruth to just relax and not worry about it. It sure is easy to relax when you know that things are going to work out, but true obedience is when we relax and not worry about things that we are not sure about. What we must strive for is the ability to trust God in all things at all times.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Series: God Is On The Job (Study In Ruth) #3
April 23, 2003
Bel Aire Baptist Church
Pastor Shawn Drake