Judges & Ruth – God Provides
Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” – Ruth 4:13-15
God provides for the people when they cry out to him in their time of need. Throughout the book of Judges the phrase, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit,” is used several times. The people stray away from God and when things get really bad… they cry out to God once more. God raised up judges (leaders) who fought battles for Israel. They were redeemed and when the next generation fell away from God once more, God kept rescuing the people.
At the time of Ruth and Naomi, we see once again, some of God’s people in need. These women are both widows; and even though Ruth was a Moabitess, she converts to love and serve the God of Naomi’s people. Naomi tries to convince Ruth to return to her father’s house, but Ruth replies, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
God provides for Ruth and Naomi in the fields of Boaz. We see the command of God to allow for widows and aliens to glean in the fields after the harvest, in action. We also see the Levirate Law to provide for the nearest relative (brother or cousin) to marry the young widow to provide a child in the name of the dead man. These safety nets all protect the vulnerable in the community. God redeems his people and provides for their needs when they call out to him.
God provides for our needs as well. Even when the trouble we find ourselves in is of our own making, God doesn’t turn His back on us. God forgives. God restores. God redeems. Thanks be to God.
Creator God, with each breath of life you breathe, you give gifts to your creation, calling us to use your gifts to build up your kingdom on earth. We confess that sometimes we do not see your gifts for the treasures they are. We either take credit for them ourselves, or we dismiss them as not important. We privilege some gifts over others, forgetting that you care about tiny things as much as big things. And when we are called upon to use our gifts for your glory, so often we find ourselves distracted by our own desire and uncertain of your direction. Forgive us. Open our ears to hear you speaking, and our hearts to embrace your purpose. Amen.