“As it turned out…”
Boaz is quite a man! He’s kind and considerate, a man of faith, observant, thoughtful in taking care of the needy, protective, compassionate, good to his workers, generous…
Ruth also has a lovely character. She is kind, loyal, diligent, considerate, a hard worker, thoughtful, takes the initiative, exercises her adopted faith, obedient…
As we have studied the Book of Ruth over the last couple of weeks, we have gained glimpses into the lives of these two people. It’s fascinating to read of things from their perspective, but we also gain insights into God’s perspective.
Naomi and Ruth had arrived back in Bethlehem at the time of the harvest. They needed food and Ruth took the initiative suggesting, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favour.” (Ruth 2:2)
I wonder if you have noticed the expression in verse 3, “As it turned out…”
Theologians call this “God’s Providence.”
On the human level, the ladies needed grain for food. Ruth was young and able to work hard to provide for them both so off she went to the fields. Did Ruth fret and worry about where she should go? Did she ask which field was being harvested that day? Or did she follow other women going out to glean? We are not told. She had a job to do, made a decision and went. However, from God’s perspective, He had a plan and a purpose for her and He led her to work in the field of Boaz, where she would be treated kindly and well-provided for.
On a daily basis we have decisions to make. How should we determine what we should do? Yes, we gather information and think things through, maybe even ask for advice, but we don’t need to fret and worry. We pray, think and decide and then there’s one more thing … we trust! As we discussed in our Bible Study group, it is often only in hindsight that we see God’s working in our lives. He has been there all along, guiding us, in ways that we are often unaware of.
We see the same principle in Proverbs 16:9. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
We may live in another world and another time however our God is the same as the God of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. We can make our decisions and trust God to work things out for His purposes.
Wisdom teaches us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6