April 22

Ruth, Part 3

Ruth 2:3a Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz…

Ruth 3:12-13 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning.”

Ruth 4:13a So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.

God has everything under control. Ruth went out to glean in the fields to help Naomi. She “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz.”

There were customs and laws in this story that might have seemed as if they were obstacles. They weren’t. They were opportunities for God to show what He could do, and how effortlessly He could.

Yes, God can work through natural disasters, miracles or dramatic turns of events that catch our attention. But He mostly works through everyday behaviors and even our culture’s customs. It was the custom of the day to allow gleaners to have the opportunity to glean a little more by leaving some after the first pass through. An ancient Near Eastern custom of the “redeeming relative” is first mentioned in Ruth as a moment of suspense and anticipation, but the result was always in God’s hands. It was always going to be Boaz.

Ruth is the story of small actions and everyday events that God worked like an orchestra conductor. No one in the book of Ruth has a dream, commands the elements, gets a revelation from God, or strikes out with a large bold action. Nothing is outside of the norm, or outside of the culture.

Do you believe that God is big enough to work through normal channels? Do you believe He’s strong enough to use the simple things, the everyday events, the “normal” ways? God never once calls attention to Himself in the book of Ruth, yet His steady, loving, providential hand is everywhere to be seen. Take a step back and you’ll see it in your life, too.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for reminding me that You’re often found in the still small voice rather than in the strong wind, earthquake or fire (I Kings 19:12). Help me to see You—and trust You—when You’re being quiet.

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