The Providence and Grace of God
“Then Naomi said to her, “Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has followed through on this. He will settle it today.” – Ruth 3:18 NLT
There are so many great themes in the book of Ruth: Redemption, restoration, rest, faithfulness, seed, blessing, trust, provision, and sacrifice. Yet the two that jump out at me the most are the providence and grace of God. Set in the time of the Judges, the book of Ruth is like a small light shining in a very dark place. It gives us a glimpse into the activity of God in the midst of the apostasy of Israel. Ruth, a Moabitess, is shown mercy and grace by God because of her faith in Him. In fact, she exhibits more faith in God than the people of God around her. Her life is characterized by faith and integrity, trust and obedience. Over and over again she is faithful to her mother-in-law Naomi. She faithfully obeys her. She cares for her and honors her. Ruth is a picture of what God expected from His own chosen people. And in spite of all the sorrow and misery Ruth had experienced, there is clearly a picture of the sovereign hand of God over her life. He is orchestrating events in such a way that Ruth and Naomi will not only have their needs met, they will be blessed and be a blessing for generations to come. Through Ruth, this insignificant Moabite woman, would come the greatest king Israel would ever have – David. In the middle of all the rebellion and disobedience of the people, God was working His plan to raise up a true king, a man after His own heart, through whom the ultimate King would come.
In Boaz, Ruth’s kinsmen-redeemer, we have a reminder of what Jesus Christ has done for us. He redeemed or bought us at great price to Himself. He purchased us and made us His own. We have gone from spiritual poverty to great wealth. We have become heirs of all that belongs to Christ Himself. We can say, along with Zechariah, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people” (Luke 1:67 NET). We have been redeemed. We have been shown grace. And like Boaz, God did so for us willingly, not begrudgingly. It was His pleasure to purchase us and make us His own. He extended grace gladly and freely. And not only that, He intends to bless others through us, just like He did Ruth. In spite of the fact that we were once strangers and aliens from God, He has made us His own. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant” (Colossians 1:21-23 NIV).
God is providentially at work in your life, behind the scenes, orchestrating events in such a way that His divine will is accomplished in your life. He is extending grace constantly, showering you with undeserved, unearned blessings each and every day. In spite of all we see going on around us, our God rules and reigns. He is in complete control. We have nothing to fear.
Father, in the darkest times You are there. When all look hopeless, You are in complete control. When I think all is lost, You are showering me with Your grace. Open my eyes. Help me to see You in the midst of it all. Help me to trust You more. Thank You for choosing me just as Boaz chose Ruth. Thank You for sacrificing for me so that I might be blessed, but also be a blessing to others. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men