What a happy ending, and it was just as God had intended. God used a woman who otherwise would have been off the radar for the Hebrew culture. Ruth was a Moabite who had married a man from the area of Bethlehem. But he had died before leaving an heir for his property. Ruth has shown her bravery in moving to a foreign land and devotion to her dead husband’s mother. Not everyone would do that. Would you leave everything familiar behind?
I wonder what prompted Ruth to stay with Naomi. Orpah, the other daughter-in-law opted to stay behind in their home country. She probably found another husband and her future took a different direction. Did the two ever keep in touch?
Ruth became the great-grandmother of David who became king over Judah and Israel. Ruth’s child gave Naomi such joy after so much sadness. “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.” Little did they know how their “wish” would come true. Obed, Ruth’s son, did become famous in Israel. His ancestral line is mentioned with great reverence in the Bible. That’s a pretty big deal. Little did Ruth know how her own choices would affect history.
We all have an opportunity to change history in some way or another. We may feel insignificant in our sphere of influence, but we have seen time and again how God uses people for his purposes here on earth. I just hope I haven’t missed an opportunity because I was too caught up in my own “stuff” to be listening for God’s direction.
I think that’s why in retirement I have crafted my daily mode of operation (or schedule) to include a very significant amount of time to be spent with God. When I was frantically working and volunteering and running a side business or two, I know I missed out on so many intimate moments with God. I felt bad about that. I felt like something was missing in my life. Yet, I felt like God was with me.
Ruth didn’t know God when she made the decision to stay with Naomi. But God knew Ruth and he was walking with her. He led her to the right destiny for her life here on earth. I am confident he is doing the same for me. Now I have this devotional, and I am working closely with the worship team at our church. I am listening for God’s voice like never before.
There is so much freedom and joy when you devote time to God. It’s hard to truly explain, but I know my life is fuller now for sure.
Have you been listening for God? What is he telling you to do?
Let’s pray. Father God, I thank you for how you are working in my life. How you have always worked in my life, even when I was lost. Now that I am back on track, I ask that you bring those people to me who I can help. You know the ways they need help. Help me to see with your eyes. Create in me a clean heart and renew my spirit this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.