14 November 2016
Ruth - Moving Pieces
"The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
- Ruth 2.12-13
I finished reading Ruth this morning, a seemingly random, gentle story in the Old Testament about a young woman who puts others interests in front of her own. She takes care of her mother-in-law, Naomi (after they both lose their husbands), moving with her to a foreign place, gleaning fields for their daily sustenance. The fields belong to a wealthy relative of Naomi, Boaz, who is an honourable man, showing mercy and love. He ends up marrying Ruth, and it all ends happily.
As a reader, you might wonder why this story dwells in the pages of Scripture. Then, the last paragraph reveals the mystery. A genealogy is listed....Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.
Within this short book, we see how God is moving pieces of the grand story of the world with a small, simple story of goodness. King David would not have existed if this small story of Ruth and Boaz had not taken place.
I love when little details like this are revealed in more than just a list. We get a story about how it all came to pass. God is overseeing all. We don't know how He plans to use our small story for something much bigger. But if we let Him use us, His plans shall come to fruition.
This is no invitation to assume that we are so great and we shall make things great. It is not you or me that does great things - it is God through us. God can use all that we give Him, to bring some glimpses of His kingdom, but the point is, we must take our annotated selfish notes and let them rise in the wind of God. Let Him take them where He might. Ruth leaves all her family and her familiar land to move with her mother-in-law, to take care of her. I can imagine Ruth dreamily imagining a quiet, cosy life in a familiar place, but she went with Naomi instead. We don't know what she felt, but it was a strong urge. God moving pieces that changed the course of history. One small story.