Text: Ruth 4:13-17, Psalm 127, Proverbs 24:27
Isn’t it amazing? In just four chapters, we have seen two women move from overwhelming despair to incredible hope. Remember how Naomi interacted with her friends in the first chapter? “‘Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,’ she answered, ‘for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty’” (Ruth 1:20-21).
Now, in chapter four, her friends are surrounding her, praising God for the birth of Ruth and Boaz’s son, Obed, another potential kinsman-redeemer in her family tree. What was empty in Naomi’s life is now full, and her friends declare, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer” (Ruth 4:14).
In the midst of trial, I am always tempted to think the opposite of what Naomi’s friends declared—that the Lord has left me, and there will be no redemption to my story. We’ve all been there. You might be there right now.
During these times, when I don’t know what the future holds, I often try and plan it out myself. Grasping for a sense of control, I make lists, imagine scenarios, send emails, do whatever I need to do to feel like I’m making progress, to feel like I’m fixing my problems, to feel like I am getting somewhere. This is what I would have done had I found myself in a Ruth-and-Naomi situation: widowed, childless, desperate, and staring at a shaky, unclear future.
The problem with my go-to method of scrambling and planning is not the plan itself, but rather, the overseer of that plan. Me.
Psalm 127 says that when we are building our own house, our labor is in vain. When we are watching over own city, our watching is in vain. The Lord is the only one who knows the plan and has the power to put it into action. Try as we may, we simply get in the way.
Naomi could not have foreseen the beauty that would come from her story of ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3). What God was building was beyond her predictions and planning. Though she lost her sons and her husband, as her friends reminded her, having Ruth as her daughter-in-law turned out to better than having seven sons (Ruth 4:15).
Just as redemption was in God’s plan for Naomi, so is it in God’s plan for us.
Down the bloodline from Boaz and Ruth and Obed is our Redeemer, Jesus. In Christ, there is no such thing as a story beyond redemption. There is only resurrection, restoration, and rejoicing, even in the most unlikely of circumstances and with the most unlikely of subjects.
If you’re wondering today if the Lord has left you, and the idea redemption at this point feels impossible, hold fast to the promise we see in Ruth and Naomi’s journey. Nothing is too much, too big, or too scary for our Savior. God has not walked away from you. He’s done the opposite. He has drawn near to you through His Son, Jesus.
Today, let’s take a step back today from whatever it is we are trying to control our way out of. Instead of planning and building, let’s sit in the promise of our Redeemer, believing that God is sovereign and His redemption is already ours.