Saturday, April 6

I’m way ahead of you

Scripture: Ruth 3-4, Psalm 64-65, 2 Corinthians 6

Observation

Ruth is more than a charming love story; it is a story of God at work accomplishing His purposes.

On the surface, Ruth is the story of how a young Moabite woman became the wife of an Israelite man named Boaz.  Naomi and her family moved to Moab to wait out a famine.  While there, Naomi’s two sons took Moabite wives.  Then Naomi’s husband and both sons died.  When it was time to return to Israel, Ruth insisted on returning with her mother-in-law.  Back in Israel, Ruth quickly distinguished herself as “a woman of excellence” (3:11).  So when Naomi’s plan to recruit Boaz as Ruth’s husband unfolds, Boaz gladly marries her and they have a son, Obed.  Thus, Ruth becomes part of Israel, and the story of God.

But the story behind the story is royal bloodline of Israel.  Ruth’s great-grandson would be King David.  And Ruth’s name shows up once in the New Testament, in Matthew 1:5 in lineage of Jesus.  

Application

Two thoughts.

God works in mysterious ways.  No one would have imagined God using a Moabite woman to accomplish His purposes.  Naomi’s sons violated Jewish law and custom by marrying foreign women, outside their faith.  Ruth violated her national custom by leaving her people to follow Naomi.  And Boaz violated Jewish law and custom by marrying a Moabite woman, while at the same time he followed Jewish law and custom by redeeming Naomi’s property and marrying Ruth in Mahlon’s stead.  In other words, everyone was breaking the rules, including God!  God is not constrained to work within our human boundaries.  He surprises us!

God is way ahead of us.  God was working generations ahead to bring David, then Jesus into the world.  God is doing the same now.  “I’m way ahead of you.”  He is doing things we can’t see or imagine to accomplish purposes we can’t dream.  Perhaps 100 years from now, my great-grandchildren will accomplish things for God that will be traced back to what God did in my life.  This comforts me.  When I see how our world seems to be degenerating on multiple levels, it comforts me to know that God is way ahead of me—He’s working in ways I can’t see to accomplish His purposes far into the future.  

Prayer: Lord, I know that You see the Big Picture, and I see only a small snapshot.  Thank You for reminding me that You are at work even when I can’t see it.