Three More Truths from the Book of Ruth
By Jeff Cranston
Ruth, a Gentile from the land of Moab, was a widow of an Israelite. She left her family to go with her mother-in-law, Naomi, who also was a widow, to Bethlehem, Naomi’s hometown. When these two women arrive in Bethlehem, they are destitute, devastated, and broken. Neither of them knew how they would survive. But both of them had faith that somehow things would work out. Read the Book of Ruth.
In my last blog post, we discovered three truths from the Book of Ruth that apply to our lives today. First, God is concerned about all people regardless of what they are, who they are or where they are from. Second, there is hope even during the most devastating times of your life. And third, God uses unlikely people for His purpose.
In this blog post, we will learn three more truths from the Book of Ruth.
1. If God can take something away you never expected to lose, he can replace it with something you never imagined having.
Ruth’s journey to Israel must have been frightening. She made the journey with Naomi, all the while knowing that she was going to a country that wouldn’t like her very much. Her accent would give her away to everyone, and being a childless widow gave her plenty of reason to shrink back into a shell and simply live her life in obscurity. But that’s not what she did. She left her country and her family behind and refused to let her past hold her back. She chose to serve the God of Naomi, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And God blessed her in unimaginable ways!
Your past is not your final destination when you make a choice to place your faith in God. While your confidence may be wavering, God’s promises are not.
2. God uses “small” things to accomplish great plans.
What an amazing plan God had for a series of “small” things that all added up to important pieces in His big plan. God intended for Ruth to be a part of the story of the lineage of Jesus. So, He pulled together events such as the famine, Naomi’s relocation to Moab, their return to Bethlehem, Boaz’s bloodline (Ruth’s second husband, see Ruth Chapters 3 and 4), and many other events just to ensure that Ruth could be a part of His plan. And God does that same thing in our lives today!
3. God has a Redeemer in place who can rescue you from the devastation of your sin.
God has a Redeemer for your life, and His name is Jesus. Boaz was a type—a prophetic symbol—of Christ and His redemptive work in our lives today. Just as Naomi and Ruth were empty and devastated after losing everything, our sin has rendered us empty and spiritually desolate. But Jesus is willing to redeem us. He wants to rescue us from the penalty of our sin. All you have to do to be rescued is to call on Him in faith and ask Him to save you.
We live in an unfair world. No one is exempt from tragedy and disappointment. God did not exempt Himself from this either. His only Son—sinless, holy and perfect—suffered and died unfairly for the sins of others—yours and mine. The Cross reveals what kind of world we have and what kind of God we have: a world of gross unfairness and a God of sacrificial, never-ending love.
Jeff Cranston is lead pastor of LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, S.C.