Devotional: ‘Only God Knows What Lies Ahead’  

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Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own.  The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” (Ruth 4:16-17)

Throughout our study of the book of Ruth, we have seen the providential hand of God. It was God that brought Ruth and Naomi back to Bethlehem at the time of harvest. It was God that guided Ruth to the field of a man by the name of Boaz. It was God that stirred the heart of Boaz and caused him to have affection for Ruth. And it was God that caused a child to be conceived through their marriage relationship. None of these events were accidents. They were all the results of God’s providential hand at work. Through God’s providential care and wisdom, He turned tragedy into blessings. These blessings were experienced in the lives of Ruth, Boaz, Naomi and many of us today. Let me explain.

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Devotional: ‘God Has Provided For Us a Redeemer’  

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At the beginning of the book of Ruth, we see Naomi as a woman consumed with bitterness. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she said to those who greeted her. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” (Ruth 1:20)

If you had been God, how would you have reacted to Naomi’s unkind words? I’m sure that some of us would have been tempted to zap her. Perhaps we would have thought, “If that’s the way you want it – fine! Spend the rest of your life living in bitterness. You go your way and I’ll go mine and we’ll see who wins in the end.” Many of us might have thought that way, but God didn’t. Even while Naomi was lashing out at God, God was loving her.

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Devotional: ‘Jehovah-rapha – I Am the LORD That Healeth Thee’

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Perhaps you will remember in an earlier study how Naomi had said, “Don’t call me Naomi.” “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” (Ruth 1:20) Naomi had let life make her bitter and she was willing to openly express her bitterness towards God. By referring to herself as ‘Mara’, Naomi was borrowing from another story in the life of Israel.

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Devotional: ‘Finding Rest and Refuge Under God’s Protective Wings’  

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“Just be patient, my daughter, until we hear what happens. The man won’t rest until he has settled things today.”  (Ruth 3:18)

Ruth returned to Naomi the next morning and told her all that Boaz had said. I love Naomi’s comment to Ruth. My translation of these words would be- “Honey, just sit tight; this man has got the tingles!”

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Devotional: ‘Regardless of Which Way the Wind Blows’  

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One day Charles Spurgeon was walking through the countryside with a friend. As they strolled along, Spurgeon noticed a barn with a weather vane on its roof. At the top of the vane were these words: GOD IS LOVE.  Spurgeon remarked to his companion that he thought this was a rather inappropriate place for such a message. “Weather vanes are changeable, Spurgeon said, “but God’s love is constant.”  Spurgeon’s friend replied, “I don’t agree with you about those words, Charles.  You misunderstood the meaning. That sign is indicating a truth-  “Regardless of which way the wind blows, God is love.”  With that thought in mind, let’s continue in our study of the book of Ruth.

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Devotional: ‘The Importance of Humility’ 

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I love character studies found in scripture and perhaps there are none better than the story of Ruth. Many words could be used to describe her, but perhaps ‘humility’ was one of her leading qualities. The Bible says, “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)

When Ruth told Naomi all the things that Boaz had done for her, Naomi quickly realized that this was God’s divine providence at work. “Go and uncover his feet and lie down there…” (Ruth 3:4) she said to Ruth. Though this may seem like some strange instructions; they carry great wisdom.

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Devotional: ‘God Works in Mysterious Ways’  

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One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for. Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight, he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.”  (Ruth 3:1-4)

Naomi quickly recognized that Ruth’s gleaning in the field of Boaz was about much more than a basket of grain.  Boaz was a near kinsman and he was willing to show kindness to Ruth. Each time I read the book of Ruth I get the impression that Naomi was quite the matchmaker.

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