Today read Ruth 2, Ezekiel 12, and Ephesians 1. This devotional is about Ruth 2.
As we read through the book of Ruth together, it is helpful to remember that this story took place during the period of the Judges (1:1). Because we’ve just completed reading through Judges, you are aware that not much was happening spiritually in Israel at the time. The nation of Israel worshipped idols, so God allowed their neighbors to oppress them. They would repent, so God would send a deliverer to defeat their attacking neighbors. This was a cycle that happened repeatedly throughout the book of Judges.
But even the judges God sent were poor spiritual leaders, often living in disobedience to the Lord themselves. The impression one gets from reading Judges is that nobody in Israel is really following and serving the Lord from the heart.
The book of Ruth, however, indicates that more was going on spiritually than Judges suggests. Although it is true that there was a lot of disobedience, there were also men like Boaz, whom we met here in Ruth 2. Everything about Boaz exudes a strong faith in the Lord and desire to please him:
- When he greeted his workers, he pronounced a blessing on them in the Lord’s name (v. 4).
- When he saw Ruth gleaning in the field, he did not throw her out; he followed God’s law and let her glean.
- Even more than that, he invited her back (v. 8), protected her safety (v. 9a), and even encouraged her to use the water provided for his worker (v. 9b).
- When asked why he would do this in verse 10, he acknowledged Ruth’s sacrifice for Naomi (v. 11) and asked for God to reward her for it (v. 12).
One thing to take away from this story is how God provided for Ruth based on her faith. The language in verse 3 could lead one to think that her choice of Boaz’s field was random (“as it turned out”). But this was God’s providence working in her life.
It is important to remember that the events our lives that seem like chance have been ordered by God who is working for his glory and our good.Tweet
Another thing to consider from this passage is not to despair when the people surrounding us are insensitive to God’s word and ungodly in their lives. Boaz stood out because of his faith. He not only spoke faithful words that glorified God, he lived a life that was obedient to God’s word because he trusted in the Lord.
Although we live in a culture that is darkening morally and may feel at times like we are the only ones trying to serve the Lord, we should not be fearful or tone down our faith. Instead, like Boaz, we should live what we believe no matter what and trust God for his provision and work in our lives.