Do you believe in luck, chance or coincidence? The Bible teaches us that –
- The steps of a man are established by the LORD… (Ps 37:23 NAS)
- … All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Ps 139:16 NIV)
- I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (Is 46:10 NIV)
I admit, the providential hand of God is more than I can comprehend; yet, I believe that God already knows the rest of my days and what events they will hold.
And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:2-3)
Yesterday I said, “Rather than bemoaning her burdens, Ruth chose to go out and seek for blessing. Rather than starving at the table of self-pity, Ruth chose to glean in the fields of grace.” Though there was much Ruth did not understand about God, she believed in His goodness and guidance. As it turned out, she was exactly right.
To which field would she go? Was it the field nearest their home or was it the only field still available? The Bible doesn’t tell us. This we do know. It was the exact field God had destined for her. Scripture tells us that it was a field belonging to a man by the name of Boaz. Why is that significant?
There are at least six things significant about Boaz. Let me mention two of them today. First of all, Boaz was a landowner. That may not seem that important until you stop to realize that this was exactly what Ruth needed. According to the Word of God, landowners were to not harvest the corners of their fields, nor to sweep the ground clean as they were harvesting. The fragments left behind were to be made available for the poor to gather. Up to this point, Boaz’s life as a landowner may have seemed pretty insignificant and mundane, but it was this mundane that turned out to be the means of God’s providence. Never underestimate the life God has given you nor the circumstances He has allowed. It was a stick in the hand of a shepherd that God used to part the Red Sea.
Secondly, Boaz was of the kindred of Elimelech, Ruth’s father-in-law. “As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.” God orchestrated the marriage of Ruth to an Israelite man named Mahlon. God compelled Ruth to return back to Israel with Naomi. God brought them back during the time of the barley harvest. And God led Ruth to the fields of Boaz, who would eventually become her husband.
Scripture teaches us that God has ordered the days and events of our lives. His divine order is not haphazard, but sequential so that each event builds upon the past and prepares for the future. Our duty is not to order the events, but to pray each day, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…Give us this day our daily bread.” Faith is not the means to manipulate the will of God, but the confidence that all things will work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.
Let me again quote myself, “Rather than bemoaning her burdens, Ruth chose to go out and seek for blessing. Rather than starving at the table of self-pity, Ruth chose to glean in the fields of grace.” Ruth believed in God’s goodness and guidance, and that the most logical next step for her to take was to go to a nearby field and glean their daily bread. Little did she know at the time that in this field she would also find a husband!
Famines do not have to be the end; they can be the beginning. If you are in a famine, trust God, live with anticipation, and take the steps already laid out before you. Who knows, during the mundane events of this day you may find yourself in the middle of the eternal will of God.