Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. And Jesus was the descendent of David…and Ruth. Ruth was a widowed, poor, gentile refugee, and an unlikely choice to be in a genealogical line up that would lead to Jesus the Messiah. But God’s ways are above our ways, and 100 percent of the time he is at work, perfecting his plan along with everything that concerns us—even though we can’t see it.
Going Deep // Focus: Ruth 4:13-15, 21-22
So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife…the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!” … Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.
Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. And Jesus was the descendent of David…and Ruth.
Ruth was a foreigner in Israel—a refugee really. She was of no account, a young Moabite widow who decided to throw in with her widowed mother-in-law Naomi, who was returning hat in hand to her own people in Israel. Naomi, and thus Ruth, had nothing. They would have to depend on the compassion of distant relatives for their survival. They were homeless, indigent, stuck in a cycle of bad news, and without much hope for the future. They had no offspring to even carry on their name.
Yet they were really good people; women of virtue. More than that, they were women who, unknown to them at the time, were a significant piece to God’s grand scheme to shape the future of the human race. They didn’t see what we now see. Even while God worked things out for them in the long run, they still died having no clue how significant their lives were.
One never knows what God is up to, but he is always up to something. He knows what he is doing; his ways are beyond ours. And they are perfect. What we can’t see at the time is that God is at work, perfecting his plan along with everything that concerns us (Psalm 138:8). We rarely see it in real time, if ever, but we can trust him, because he has proven himself trustworthy 100 percent of the time.
Strange how God works, isn’t it? What looks like a meaningless story at the time to us, or a hopeless story, God uses for his eternal purposes. What looks like B and C list actors in the plot, God’s long-term strategy turns them into major players in his plan for the ages. That is the story of scripture: the scheming Tamar, the harlot Rahab, the Gentile Ruth—all unlikely choices to be in a genealogical line up that would lead to Jesus the Messiah.
And that will be your story, too—as well as mine. We will go to our graves without really knowing how God used our everyday faithfulness to accomplish eternal things. Someday we will; eternity will tell the story of God’s ways in our lives, but for now we can only offer obedience and trust, leaving the results up to the Great Director.
In my humanness, I wish I knew the end of my story from the beginning—and had creative input in how it was going to turn out. But that would actually limit the brilliance of the part I will play because God’s ways are infinitely greater, more creative and brilliant than my mind could ever conceive.
God is writing my story, and yours, too, even as we speak. And believe me, my friend, it is going to be a doozy! Better yet, believe what the Bible says about it!
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (Isaiah 64:4)