Several years ago, our family went on a journey. It wasn’t a fun vacation that you see people posting about on social media, but one that was very trying and refining for our entire family. We experienced medical challenges, loss of friendships, and a job layoff. At the point when we thought it would never end, God provided. And his provision was much greater than we could have even planned. Now, looking back, I can see how he used all of the difficult things to prepare us for what was next.
- Recall a time when you saw God’s provision in preparing you for a specific situation.
READ THE WORD: RUTH 2:1-7 (ESV)
2:1 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. 4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5 Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”
- What are the relationships in this story?
- What did the servant note about Ruth, and what did it say about her character (vs. 7)?
- In verse 4, what did the conversation between the reapers and Boaz reveal about the reapers’ beliefs and how they felt about Boaz?
- Do you believe that Ruth “happened” to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, Naomi’s relative? Why or why not? What does this teach you about God and his ways?
- As you think of your current circumstances, reflect on how God can use them to teach you, provide for you, and shape you for his glory.
RESPOND TO GOD
Israelite law made a provision for the poor to pick up the leftovers in the fields, after the reapers. God further provided for Ruth by arranging an opportunity to meet Boaz, who was a man of influence and godly character. The Lord used Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law, her respect, and her work ethic to cause Boaz to notice her. Sometimes it seems that we are in circumstances where we wonder what the Lord is up to. Rest assured, God uses all things for good and for his purposes.
- Thank God for how he has provided for you—financially, relationally, and emotionally.
- Praise him for the ways he has used past circumstances to lead you to where you are now.