Famine occurred in land while judges governed. Elimelech and Naomi of Bethlehem lived in Moah. Their two sons died after marrying Moabite women, including Ruth. Naomi heard that Lord had provided His people food (Ruth 1:1-6). God materially provides for His covenant people.
Naomi urged her daughter-in-laws to return to their mother’s house so Lord could deal kindly with them. She felt bitter since it seemed the Lord was against her. Rather than leaving, Ruth clung to Naomi, saying, “For where you go, I will go. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:7-22). Family members sustain you through trials when it seems God is against you.
Naomi’s husband had a kinsman of great wealth, Boaz. Ruth gleaned in his field by chance seeking to find favor. After Boaz discovered her, Ruth asked why he would notice a foreigner. He knew how she stayed with Naomi, left her family and came to a people she didn’t know. Boaz said to Ruth, “May the Lord reward your work and your wages be full from Lord under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” She stayed close by Boaz’s maids until the end of barley harvest and lived with Naomi (Ruth 2:1-23). God protects and rewards your work as you place your trust in Him.
Naomi sought a redeemer for Ruth so things could go well for her. Since she knew Boaz winnowed barley at the threshing floor that evening, Naomi instructed Ruth to wash, anoint herself, put on her best clothes, withhold her identity until after Boaz finished eating and drinking, lie down with him and listen to his instructions. After following Naomi's commands, Boaz said to Ruth: “May you be blessed of the Lord. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether rich or poor. For all my people in the city know you are woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:1-18). Submission to God and others reveal His plan for your life.
After Naomi's closest kinsman refused to take Ruth, Boaz acquired her as his wife and purchased land from the estate. People said, “May the Lord make Ruth like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Leah, and may you achieve wealth and become famous.” After Ruth bore a son, they said to Naomi, “May he be to you like a restorer of life and sustainer of your old age, for Ruth who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Naomi became the child’s (Obed) nurse (Ruth 4:1-17). God provides wealth and family to restore and sustain your life through old age.
The generations of Perez are Boaz, Obed, Jesse and David. Ruth becomes the second Gentile woman after Rahab in Jesus’ line (Ruth 4:18-22). Jesus accepts us because His own lineage contains two unacceptable women in the world’s eyes.
God sovereignly provides, sustains, protects, rewards, restores and accepts you everyday of your life. He brings unusual and unexpected events and people into your life to accomplish His purposes.
Journal how God has provided, sustained, protected, rewarded, restored and accepted you this past year. What unusual or unexpected event(s) has He brought into your life this past year?