Wednesday, May 10, 2017

When God Works in the Backgroud

I have recently been studying through the book of Ruth the ladies over at Love God Greatly. Man, I love this book. Just to summarize in case you've never read it or it's been a while... A woman named Naomi, her husband and 2 sons move from Israel to Moab (another country) during a famine. While there the sons get married to Moabite women. Then the sons and Naomi's husband die. The scriptures don't tell us if their deaths were close to each other or spread out. All it says is they died. Naomi hears the famine in her hometown is over and she decides to move home. One of her daughters in law decides to go with her, Ruth. Now Ruth was the original ride-or-die girl.

“But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
‭‭Ruth‬ ‭1:16-17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

So the next thing she knows Ruth is in a foreign country with her mother in law. Her mother in law is so angry and bitter about How life has turned out that she changes name to Marra which means "bitter". The whole situation is very dim. So Ruth goes to work because, well, a girl's gotta eat.

Chanter 2 is what I am loving this week. The field where Ruth "happens" to go to work belong to Boaz. Boaz "happens" to stop by then field one day to check on things and see how it's going when he notices Ruth. This is the part I miss sometimes. Ruth was working. Her head down looking for leftover grain that was missed or dropped by the paid workers. This is how she ate. If she didn't find enough leftover food on the ground she went hungry. It was a pretty dire situation. She was focused on living. Day to day. One meal to another. Yet over in the periphery God was working. Her life was about to change. Boaz came into the picture.


Through a strange set of customs Boaz and Ruth end up married. Ruth goes from being a homeless widow gathering leftovers to the wife of the guy who owns the field. And it gets better. Ruth has a baby named Obed (I know what friend/relative put that in the baby naming pot?) who had a son named Jesse who had a son named David who became king over Israel and a great grandfather to Jesus.

But in chapter 2 Ruth knows none of this. All she knows is that she is hungry and today she gets to eat. I've been stuck in chapter 2 before. A place where the mundane tasks of living and surviving every day takes all my energy and focus. If you are stuck in this place today please know there is hope. I can't promise a Boaz but I can promise Jesus. I can promise that God sees His children. Just because you can't see Him working doesn't mean that he isn't.

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