I’m doing this reading plan through YouVersion – the Bible app on my phone, so I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically. It’s very interesting. So I’m going through the Old Testament right now, and honestly, it’s wrecked some of my ideals I’ve had about God. I’ve heard it said that we were made in God’s image, but we try so hard to make Him into ours. Ouch! Never in my life has His sovereignty been more clear and transparent as now.
So you have all these heavy weights in the Bible like Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, etc. Then we come to this teenie tiny book of the Bible called Ruth. It is 4 chapters of wonderful reading. It’s got all the makings of a 400 page novel: tragedy, despair, love, and even a happy ending. (Maybe I should write a screen play, get filthy rich, and help buy our church a sign…ha!) Ruth is a seemingly inconsequential character, but she turns out to have great courage, faith, and loyalty; something we, perhaps, lack in our own society today.
Ruth was not unlike many who lived in 2nd millennium B.C. She faced the death of her father-in-law and her own husband. Tragedy was no stranger to these women. Ruth, however, clings to her mother-in-law, refusing to leave her side. Naomi and Ruth end up moving back to Naomi’s home town. Naomi is in complete and utter despair. When people in her town see her, they call her by her name. She tells them to call her Mara, which means bitter. This must be an unpleasant existence for Ruth.
Then Ruth sets herself to work, basically picking up the scraps of grain other farmers leave behind. She catches the eye of Boaz who is not some young, spry guy. Boaz looks out for her and cares for her. One day Naomi tells Ruth that it’s time for Ruth to make her move. So Ruth musters up all the courage she has and does exactly what Naomi tells her. Ruth goes to lay at Boaz’s feet letting him know that she is making herself available to him for marriage. When Boaz awakens, he is startled by this great love that Ruth has shown and determines that he will go through the proper channels to make Ruth his wife and redeem her. All of this he does, and Ruth ends up bearing Boaz’s son, Obed. Obed just happens to be the father of Jesse, who just happens to be the father of David, who just happens to be in the bloodline of Jesus Christ himself. Yeah!! Ruth’s life doesn’t seem so insignificant now, huh?
Maybe Ruth, a Maobite, who grew up believing in many gods, yet clung to the God of her mother-in-law, wondered how God could turn her tragic situation in to something beautiful. Maybe she asked herself if she was invisible to Him at times. Haven’t we all done that? The fact is that no matter how invisible we think we are, God has a plan for us that is utterly unfathomable. His plan for us may not ever make sense to us in our lifetime, but we have hope that He’s up to something. It’s not just a small something either. Maybe we start living like what we do and say matter in the broad scheme of things. Maybe we start to see how truly beautiful we are to Him and how much He wants to use us. Maybe rather than giving up on life, love, and God, we begin to ask Him to show us how His plan has been at work all of our lives. That’s what He’s revealing to me.