“So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!’” – Ruth 4:13-15.
Have you ever felt like the world is crashing around you? Like you can’t go on any further? There will be seasons when a lot is happening around you that make you think nothing will improve. In those times, it is easy to lose hope. The question is, how are we going to respond in those times when hope is fading? The Book of Ruth is a story of how one family handled it. This Old Testament book beautifully illustrates God’s presence and guidance during challenging times. It is the story of a small, unknown family from Bethlehem during a famine. A husband, wife, and two sons on a journey to Moab in search of better circumstances only to encounter suffering and tragedy. In this short book, you will find the theme of the whole Bible…God’s redeeming love.
Not long after they had settled there, the husband died, and Naomi was left alone with two sons in a foreign land. Things seemed to improve when both boys found wives, and the family was growing. Then, tragedy came again. Both boys died, leaving two widows, Orpah and Ruth. In the four short chapters of this story, we see God at work in the lives of Naomi and Ruth. They return to Bethlehem devastated and empty. They are unaware God is watching and engaging them in His eternal plans to redeem the lost world.
A synopsis of Ruth goes like this: Ruth goes to Bethlehem with Naomi. Ruth meets Boaz. Boaz marries Ruth. They have a baby, which restores Naomi’s hope in God. Baby’s name is Obed, grandfather of King David from whose lineage came the Messiah…Jesus. In short, the Book of Ruth is the story of God, who is a “very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). It reveals a God who continues to work for our good and His glory even when we cannot see Him.
So, in this tragic story, we see God’s sovereign hand using the events of life, both good and bad, to bring about His plan. If we are willing and we look closely, we can see the hand of God working through all circumstances to bless His people. Look to Him for comfort and have faith that He is working in your life as He was in Naomi’s, even though she could not see it.
Even during the darkest times, God is working. Like the sun behind the clouds on a rainy day…He is still there…still shining…still giving life. Isaiah 14:24 says, “The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided.”
- What gives you hope this Christmas?